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How long has Brittney Griner played in Russia and how much was her salary at UMMC Ekaterinburg?

How long has Brittney Griner played in Russia and how much was her salary at UMMC Ekaterinburg?

Brittney Griner was sentenced to nine years imprisonment by a Moscow court after she was found guilty in February of intentionally bringing a marijuana oil vape cartridge into Russia. This happened as tensions between Russia and the United States have increased due to the invasion of Ukraine.

Griner had traveled to Russia to join the team she plays with in the off-season of WNBA. Many professional women play in overseas leagues to supplement their salaries with the US-based teams.

The 31 year-old has been playing for UMMC Ekaterinburg ever since 2014. She also competes for the Phoenix Mercury in WNBA. After leaving Zhejiang Gold Bulls, a Chinese team, she joined the Russian side.

What was Brittney Griner's salary in Russia?

The NBA is well-known for its lavish contracts and glamour, but the women's professional leagues in the US offer less. The 2020 WNBA statement stated that a player's annual earnings would not exceed $500,000, which includes all bonuses and team marketing deals.

Griner is a two-time Olympic medallist and an eight-time WNBA All-Star. The $500,000 salary would seem quite modest compared to her male counterparts. She did not earn that amount in the most recent season. Spotrac sports salary database calculates that in Griner's 2021/22 season Griner was paid just $221,000.

This contrasts sharply with leagues abroad where there are often no restrictions on players' wages, and clubs can therefore pay them much more.

2015 saw Diana Taurasi, who was a player at UMMC Ekaterinburg with Griner, earn an additional $1.5 million playing for the Russian side in offseason. The WNBA salary cap at the time was $110,000

Many WNBA stars feel justified in wanting to maximize their earning potential abroad, considering the incredible sacrifices required to reach the elite level. It is not just the players who do this.

Todd Troxel was the assistant coach for the Phoenix Mercury as well as the UMMC. These were the same teams that Griner had played for until recently. He stated that the WNBA's finances are a major draw for all players.

He told ESPN in 2016 that "this is the big paycheck --for all of us." He said that while we all love Phoenix, it's ultimately about here.