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How much is a championship bonus in the NBA?

nba championship

Championship bonuses are part of incentives given to teams as a reward for achieving milestones. It can serve as added motivation to players to work harder to win more games. The NBA is no different. Here’s how the championship bonus is computed and distributed in the NBA. 

The championship bonus varies every year

The amount varies every year and is dependent on the “player’s pool.” The total amount will be given to those teams that made the playoffs and the champions. In 2016, the pool amounted to $15 million. The winners received around $2.6 million, and a 15-man roster means each could have taken home $177,000. While this money may seem trivial to the superstars in the league, it may mean much to the reserve players. On the other hand, it’s not clear how the bonus is being distributed; a superstar may demand a bigger compensation than the 15th man on the roster based on production on the floor. 

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More buzz, more money

The NBA playoffs make money via viewership and pre-pandemic gate attendance. There’s also the sale of jerseys and other game memorabilia. While the NBA finals cannot be compared to the Super Bowl of the NFL when it comes to the national interest, the former can still create buzz, especially when superstars are involved and a tight series is being fought. The NBA features a 7-game series all the way to the finals, and unless games are close, fans’ interest may increase. Super Bowl is a one-game event, so fans tune in because they won’t have any games to watch if they miss it. 

Curiously, even though SuperBowl gets higher viewership, the champions get lower salary bonuses than NBA champions. The Philadelphia Eagles, after winning in 2018, reportedly received a $112,000 bonus each.

This year, with the NBA finals protagonists having won zero titles prior, fans outside Phoenix and Milwaukee may find reasons not to tune in. Matchups create headlines, and it’s up to the players to put on a show. With two franchises who have no NBA trophy to show on their cabinets, that means a new team will be champions for the very first time. There’s enough material to create storylines about this. 

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