NBA General Manager Salary- Duties and Responsibilities (2022)

Every team in the NBA has a general manager assigned a particular set of responsibilities—as for the sections where the players’ mentoring is the coach’s responsibility, likewise mentoring and maintaining the smooth flow of team management is the responsibility of a general manager. According to S.B. Nation, the salary of an NBA General Manager ranges between 1 million to 3 million a year depending upon the experience they hold. Suppose the general manager is in his entry-level phase. In that case, they are expected to pocket around 80,000 $ a year. In contrast, someone who has worked his way around the league for more than five years is expected to bag about 11 million dollars annually. Here, we’ll see What is NBA General Manager Salary?

The Highest Paid General Managers In The League

  1. Pat Riley: Pat Riley is the Miami Heat Team President and G.M. He is proclaimed as one of the most wealthy and decorated coaches of all time. His remarkable achievements encompass being named NBA coach of the year in three instances; 1990, 1993, and 1997. In addition, he has served as head coach of an NBA all-megastar crew nine instances. As president, Riley signed massive players in LeBron James, Chris Bosh, and Dwayne Wade, among many others, prevailing the 2012 and 2013 NBA titles. With a tangible net worth of over $80 million, Riley is the pleasant-paid G.M. predicted to take home well over $11 million by the end of 2016.
  2. R.C Bufford: R.C. Bufford is the General Manager for the San Antonio Spurs. Most recent awards include the NBA Executive of the year award for the 2013-2014 and the 2014-2015 seasons. With his consistent deliverance, he transformed the spurs into one of the leading franchises in the league and is expected to bag not less than 9 million a year in his serving years.
  3. Bob Myers: Robert Michael “Bob” Myers is the present-day General Manager for the NBA’s Golden State Warriors. In 2011 He started his General Manager profession with the Golden State Warriors in what could turn out to be a brilliant pass. Having signed a contract extension with the Warriors till the 2017-2018 season ends, Bob will take home a cool $8 million in profits and bonuses by the end of the year.

Role of a General Manager

The team’s general manager plays one of the most crucial roles in most aspects of the group.

  1. Managing brands and the market world: All the sponsors for the team and other such market work are all managed by the team’s general manager. The general manager decides which brand or organization is good for the team to become a sponsor. The ads for the brand, which the players do, are also under the eye of the general manager.
  2. Placing a perfect piece in the Puzzle: The above term is related to player recruitment. The general manager has to observe the player recruit him closely. There are instances where a player’s skills are on a very different level, but he cannot cope with the team, and that teamwork thing is missing. In those situations, the player’s talents are wasted, and so is the team’s money. So the general manager has to be very team-specific in choosing players to recruit.
  3. The Convincing Mission: There are times when a team is seriously struggling in the league, and some big guns are required to fill the void and try to get close to the championship. To achieve this, the general manager has to look and reach out to the players at the end of their contract with the particular team and convince them to join the group. It is one of the most challenging tasks as every team reaches out to the star player and wants to be stronger.
  4. Contract setting: There are many cases when a player is interested in playing for the team but expecting a more extended contract, or everything is in order. Still, a player wants to get paid more. Therefore, the general manager must work around such issues and make sure that the player who can make the team strong must be recruited.
  5. Dealing with the internal issues: The contract is limited for every player, so there comes a time when a player has to sign again with the team or leave and be a part of a new team. All these discussions are held in the office of a general manager. He instructs about a new contract and the payscale they are going to offer the players at their contract expiration. The general manager has to raise the pay if the player is significant for the team or take a hard hit for the whole season by letting that player go.
  6. A friend to the roster: A general manager is someone players can discuss if they do not feel like being a part of the team anymore and other trading issues. Then, it is up to the manager to trade the player or convince him to stay by looking up options that suit the player. When the team is consistently dealing with losses, he sits with players to sort out the best possible chance to get to the winning track. Then, the players suggest which big gun to recruit or look for, and it is the task of a general manager to get that big gun in his team. Now for this again, a lot of convincing and salary issues are involved. Still, for the benefit of the group, he has to listen to the player’s demands.

Quick View of the Duties of a General Manager

  • Overseeing daily operations of the commercial enterprise unit or company, including the production, pricing, income, or distribution of merchandise.
  • Creating and implementing growth techniques.
  • Setting essential overall performance desires.
  • Hiring key personnel and overseeing education applications.
  • Evaluating and figuring out upon investments in equipment, infrastructure, and those.
  • Reporting critical effects to senior executives.
  • Reviewing economic statements, income, or different performance statistics to degree productiveness.
  • Identifying regions desiring cost reduction or method development.
  • Directing income, advertising, or customer support sports.

How to Become an NBA General Manager?

To become an NBA General Manager means managing all that happens within a league. So it would be pretty easy to guess that you should have a basic understanding of the game to be eligible for the role.

Although here are stepwise details to get into the game of becoming a General manager of an NBA team:

  • Start as a player: The most significant opportunity for the role is first to play the game. By playing the game, you know what happens within the league and how you can get to the place you desire. By playing in the league, you also develop internal connections, which help you be a general manager.
  • Have a good set of qualifications on papers: How qualified you will directly assess you as a topmost candidate for the role. Having a degree in law or MBA helps a lot to pursue this job. It is not tough to understand why it is so significant. Suppose you are someone holding a law degree. In that case, you can ultimately be a pro player at negotiations during trade and other such things as signing a contract with a brand. If you hold an MBA degree, you would better know about marketing and take the team to a healthy capital place.
  • Know the game: Gather as much information as you can about the game. If your roots are not strong in the field, then it will surely hurt you in the long run of the job.
  • Learn player scouting: As mentioned earlier, one of the critical roles of an NBA general manager is to trade players. For this, you have to closely observe the player stats and everything you can know about him. Only when you know about the actual caliber of the player is time you can get him on board and will serve the team well in the future.

Key Points to Become an NBA General Manager

  • Degree in commercial enterprise control or a master’s in enterprise management.
  • Good know-how of various business functions.
  • Strong leadership features.
  • Excellent communique capabilities.
  • Highly organized.
  • Strong work ethic.
  • Good interpersonal skills.
  • Meticulous attention to element.
  • Computer literate.
  • Proactive nature.

How to prepare yourself for the interview?

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Here are some favorite questions that can be asked when you decide to become a General Manager for an NBA team:

Reason for your interest in a particular organization?

Employers want to be sure that you, in reality, have an interest in their business enterprise and want to work for them over different businesses. Therefore, highlight your passion for the organization and the studies you have executed at the employer.

How would you define your leadership style?

Interviewers may ask these questions to see how you communicate about yourself and whether or not you have prior revel in management positions. Take advantage of this possibility by explaining any beyond reports and then really and humbly expressing your strengths.

How would you describe your mentoring skills?

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Coaching and mentoring crew members will be a crucial factor in serving as a well-known manager. Highlight a scenario in which you effectively led and inspired someone to make effective changes in their life.

Your role in any successful project you worked on with a team?

Being capable of efficiently working on a team is critical to touchdown a trendy supervisor role. Employers want to recognize that you can’t most effectively work nicely with others but that you can also step up inside a group by taking the initiative.

Your way of criticizing the team member about the performance?

A popular supervisor is answerable for giving consistent, effective comments to crew contributors, so describe a scenario wherein you provided beneficial positive criticism on their work performance.

Jerry Krause: The Face of Hardships

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If you for a second had a thought that a general manager would be popular and loved by the public and also bagsed a considerable amount and lives in peace, then you are incredibly wrong. Jerry Krause was the general manager of the Chicago Bulls at their peak when they had the legendary Michael Jordan and were retaining championships after championships. Although the team was in pretty good shape, the internal hardships were never more minor. Having such a famous player in the group means you have to build a strong reputation for the team for the market, and it requires a lot of struggles.

The Negotiation Rumors:

It was viral news of that time and is also mentioned in the Netflix series “The Last Dance” that Scottie Pippen, another great player of the team and played a vital role in the victory road, was paid a lot lesser amount than he deserved. Unfortunately, there was no clarification in public as to why such a thing was practiced, but Jerry had to bear harsh words and hatred from the crowd.

Last year for Phil Jackson:

At the start of 1997, Krause mentioned that it was the last year for head coach Phil Jackson with the bulls. It is not a hidden fact that players get emotionally attached to the team coach, and so was the case with Phil Jackson. Michael Jordan even said that “if it’s the last year for Phil, then I am heading out too.” Although it is a much lesser-known fact that it was Krause only who introduced Phil into the team, a general manager has to think for the team’s future and has to make some hard decisions. Unfortunately, this was also the instance when Jerry was largely criticized.

Team building was the motto:

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Jerry Krause had an idea to build an entirely new team for the bulls as star players like Scottie Pippen and Michael Jordan; even Dennis Rodman was on the verge of leaving the group. For starters, the decision was going in Jerry’s favor. He drafted Tony Kukoc, who turned out to be a perfect fit for the team but later in the ’20s, the team failed, and so failed Jerry. Well, no one can predict that his decisions were wrong or right. Even if any other person were at his place, maybe he would have gone with the same choice to build a new team, but the crowd only looks for results, and they were disappointing. This instance took all the goodwill of Krause away, and it never came back.


Although every job in the league is important, from being a player to being a coach or even a game referee, one of the most challenging jobs is being a General Manager of the team. It is a fact that you will never be someone who will receive affection from the fans. The primary reason is the trading of players; it is a fact that no player plays for the same team for his entire career, and when a loved player or a star player has to leave the team, it all lands on the General Manager. No one is interested in the reason; all they know is that you are the one who traded the player. This fact cannot be denied that the pay a General Manager receives is pretty healthy. Still, you have to make peace for not being loved and being portrayed as a “sweet villain” in the league.


  1. What is the average age of the general manager of the team?
    The average age of the general managers in the league is around 50. Only a few are there who are below that line.
  2. How Hard is it to become an NBA General Manager?
    As mentioned above, if you are a player in the league, there are more chances for you to rise to a general manager position in the coming years, so the tricky part is to join a team as a player. To sum it up, every job is tough to get a holdoff and pretty much is the case in this job.
  3. Is it possible to be a General manager and the head coach of the team at the same time?
    Yes, it is possible. According to a report, “For a few years in U.S. Expert sports, coaches regularly served as general managers for their groups as nicely, determining which players would be kept on the crew and which ones brushed off, and even negotiating the terms of their contracts in cooperation with the possession of the group. In truth, many sports activities teams within the early years of U.S. Expert sports activities had been coached via the owner of the crew, so in a few instances, the same person served as owner, well-known supervisor, and head coach.”

NBA General Manager Salary- Duties and Responsibilities


What is a general manager responsible for? ›

A general manager (GM) is responsible for all or part of a department's operations or the company's operations, including generating revenue and controlling costs. In small companies, the general manager may be one of the top executives.

What does an assistant GM in the NBA make? ›

Salary Details for an Assistant Manager at NBA

The estimated base pay is $49,609 per year. The estimated additional pay is $15,622 per year.

What are the 6 responsibilities of the general manager? ›

And they do that by focusing on the six key tasks that constitute the foundations of every general manager's job: shaping the work environment, setting strategy, allocating resources, developing managers, building the organization, and overseeing operations.

What is a GM in basketball? ›

In the National Basketball Association and Women's National Basketball Association, the General Manager or GM of a team typically controls player transactions and bears the primary responsibility on behalf of the team during contract negotiations with players.

Who is the highest paid general manager in the NBA? ›

Pat Riley. Pat Riley is the Miami Heat Team President and GM. He is proclaimed as one of the most prosperous and decorated coaches of all time.

How much do NBA refs make? ›

NBA Referee Salary Overview

Entry-level referees' compensation begins at $600 per game or roughly $250,000 per year. Seasoned or professional referees earn $3,500 per game or up to $550,000 annually.

Who is the youngest GM in the NBA? ›

Hired at age 30, he was the youngest GM in the NBA.
Rob Hennigan.
Oklahoma City Thunder
PositionAsst. General Manager
Personal information
BornMarch 26, 1982 Worcester, Massachusetts
4 more rows

Who is the boss of a general manager? ›

Tip. The general manager in the hierarchy usually falls below the vice president of operations. Vice presidents stand below the C-suite executives. Below the vice presidents come directors and then managers.

What qualifications does a general manager need? ›

You need considerable work experience and a bachelor's degree for most general manager roles. Open more doors with postgraduate study, from a graduate certificate in business to a Master of Business Administration (MBA). Gain plenty experience across the management of people and processes within an organisation.

Is general manager higher than VP? ›

No, a general manager is not higher than a VP.

General managers will report to upper management, which in turn set the GM's goals and targets. Vice presidents often work with general managers of divisions within the company to ensure that the overall goals of the company are being met.

How do you become a sports general manager? ›

Follow these steps to become a sports general manager:
  1. Earn a degree in sports management. ...
  2. Gain hands-on experience. ...
  3. Get an internship or job placement. ...
  4. Find a niche and build your profile. ...
  5. Network. ...
  6. Learn to negotiate.
22 Mar 2021

How much do NBA team managers make? ›

NBA Salary FAQs

The average salary for a Manager is $71,452 per year in United States, which is 34% lower than the average NBA salary of $109,171 per year for this job.

How many black general managers are in the NBA? ›

Today, the NBA has four black presidents of basketball operations in Rivers, Ujiri, Mills and the Los Angeles Lakers' Magic Johnson, and three black general managers in Demps, Perry and the Cleveland Cavaliers' Koby Altman.

Do GMS get paid more than coaches? ›

General managers usually make less than coaches, and $3 million is seen as a crazy salary.

How many GMS are in the NBA? ›

29 General Managers found.

How much does an NBA scout make? ›

While there are no unanimous statistics, the average salary of an NBA scout ranges from $17,930 to $70,050. The median salary is $31,000. However, everything depends on the experience and education of a particular scout. Just like in any other profession, experience is extremely important.

How much do NBA janitors make? ›

A rookie sweeper just starting out will likely earn between $60,000 and $70,000 (with 60 being much more likely). A more experienced sweeper with a lot of time in the league can earn as much as $90,000 to $100,000. The more they work, the higher the wage goes. Not only that, but each team gives out a different salary.

How much does a NBA Waterboy make? ›

Speaking of chump change, waterboys obviously make a lot less money than NBA players, but $53,000 to $58,000 a year is not bad at all! Some waterboys who have been on a team for a long time receive promotions and perks, so once it's all said and one, NBA waterboys still make a lot more than an average American.

How much do NBA floor cleaners make? ›

NBA floor sweeper's salary per month

The cleaners take home between $6,700 to $8,300 per month. So hourly, their pay ranges from $9.2 to $11.4. The job is physically demanding, requiring a lot of energy, hence the decent income they earn.

Who is the longest tenured GM in NBA? ›

Longest-Tenured NBA GMs/Presidents
  • Gregg Popovich, Spurs (president): May 31, 1994. ...
  • Pat Riley, Heat (president): September 2, 1995.
  • Sam Presti, Thunder (GM/executive VP): June 7, 2007.
  • Bob Myers, Warriors (GM/president): April 24, 2012.
  • Masai Ujiri, Raptors (president): May 31, 2013.
  • Sean Marks, Nets (GM): February 18, 2016.
19 Aug 2022

How much is Steve Kerr salary? ›

He takes home an annual salary of $5 million at present as head coach of the Warriors. The Golden State job remains his only gig as head coach in the NBA. During his time in the NBA as a player, Steve earned a total of $15.8 million.

What do NBA statisticians do? ›

A Basketball Statistician is a game official who is responsible for recording all actions for both teams during a game. At least two statisticians officiate at each game – one (the caller) calls all the action on court to the second statistician (the computer operator), who inputs these actions into a computer.

Who is the boss of a general manager? ›

Tip. The general manager in the hierarchy usually falls below the vice president of operations. Vice presidents stand below the C-suite executives. Below the vice presidents come directors and then managers.

Who is higher GM or director? ›

A director of operations holds superiority over general managers and other employees. General managers are often right below directors in the company's ranking.

What is the difference between CEO and general manager? ›

CEOs oversee an entire organisation, from developing business plans to budgets and strategies, whereas general managers oversee a specific department where they manage employees and provide leadership.

What is the difference between manager and general manager? ›

A general manager gives directions to managers beneath them. They are also in charge of overseeing the hiring, training, and coaching of lower-level managers. A manager is in charge of a specific department at a company and that department's employees. They give direction to workers and supervise them.

What are the 3 major role of general manager? ›

General Manager responsibilities include formulating overall strategy, managing people and establishing policies.

What level of management is a general manager? ›

Top level management consists of Chairman, Board of Directors, Managing Director, General Manager, President, Vice President, Chief Executive Officer (C.E.O.), Chief Financial Officer (C.F.O.) and Chief Operating Officer etc.

How do you become a GM? ›

Step-by-Step Guide to Becoming a GM
  1. Step One: Earn a Bachelor's Degree (Four Years) ...
  2. Step Two: Gain Early Work Experience (Optional, Timeline Varies) ...
  3. Step Three: Earn an MBA (One to Three Years) ...
  4. Step Four: Consider Professional Certification (Optional, Timeline Varies)

Is general manager a high position? ›

In small-scale companies, a GM could be the one person who is regarded as the top executive. Commonly, general managers rank above a majority of employees; however, come below the corporate-level executives.

Is general manager an executive position? ›

A general manager (GM) is an executive who has overall responsibility for managing both the revenue and cost elements of a company's income statement, known as profit & loss (P&L) responsibility.

Is general manager senior? ›

There are a few differences between a senior manager and a general manager. A senior manager typically works under a general manager in a large corporation where there are several management levels. The general management role focuses on the company or organization as a whole.

What do you mean by general management? ›

Definition. Comprehensive in scope, general management describes the responsibilities and tasks associated with the positions people fill while operating at multiple levels within organizations. Commonly, managerial positions are divided into three primary levels (or operations) – top, middle and lower.

Who is higher CFO or general manager? ›

The CEO is chiefly accountable for the overall company performance. The role is usually determined by the board of directors. On the other hand, the CFO is responsible for the financial part of the company only. The CFO is the top financial manager of the organization.

Who is higher than a CEO? ›

Who is higher, CEO or chairman? A chairman is technically “higher” than a CEO. A chairman can appoint, evaluate, and fire the CEO. The CEO still holds the highest position in the operational structure of the company, and all other executives answer to the CEO.

Is general manager higher than VP? ›

No, a general manager is not higher than a VP.

General managers will report to upper management, which in turn set the GM's goals and targets. Vice presidents often work with general managers of divisions within the company to ensure that the overall goals of the company are being met.

Is general manager better than manager? ›

Yes, GM (general manager) is typically higher than the manager. It depends on the size of the company, but a general manager generally ranks above most employees but below corporate-level executives. So, GMs usually supervise lower-level managers and oversee the hiring and training of these managers.

Is a general manager higher than a senior manager? ›

No, a senior manager is not higher than a general manager. A senior manager typically works under a general manager in a large corporation with several management levels. There are several main differences between a senior manager and a general manager.


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