The Golden State Warriors and the Cleveland Cavaliers will be fixated on winning a championship as the 2016 NBA Finals get underway Thursday night at the Oracle Arena (NYSE:ORCL) in Oakland, California. But players on both teams are also in for a sizable check, thanks to the NBA’s performance-based playoff bonus pool.
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The NBA will award a total of $15 million to the league’s top teams this year, officials told FOXBusiness.com. This year’s Playoff pool is the largest in league history, surpassing last year’s tally of $14 million.
The winning team in this year’s NBA Finals will earn $2,656,422, to be split amongst its players, coaches and staff members. The losing team gets a consolation prize of $1,760,210 – probably not enough to cure the sting of falling short, but a solid payday nonetheless.
Even if they lose to the Cavaliers, the Warriors have already secured a sizable chunk of the league’s playoff bonus money. Golden State has already locked up more than $1.7 million, thanks to its league-best 73-9 record ($432,632), conference-best record, and appearances in all three preliminary rounds of the NBA playoffs. A win against Cleveland wouldn’t just give Stephen Curry and his teammates their second consecutive NBA championship – it would push the team’s total postseason earnings above $4 million.
LeBron James and the Cavaliers are in a similar position. They’ve already secured about $1.3 million on bonuses, thanks to their playoff exploits and Eastern Conference-best record of 57-25.
A full breakdown of the 2016 NBA Playoff pool can be found below, courtesy of the NBA.
Best Regular-Season Record: $432,632
Best Record in Conference: $757,106 ($378,553 each)
Second-Best Record in Conference: $608,526 ($304,263 each)
Third-Best Record in Conference: $454,264 ($227,132 each)
Fourth-Best Record in Conference: $357,002 ($178,501 each)
Fifth-Best Record in Conference: $297,476 ($148,738 each)
Sixth-Best Record in Conference: $202,894 ($101,447 each)
Teams Playing in First Round: $3,581,824 ($223,864 each)
Teams Playing in Conference Semifinals: $2,130,952 ($266,369 each)
Teams Playing in Conference Finals: $1,760,692 ($440,173 each)
Losing Team, NBA Finals: $1,760,210
Winning Team, NBA Finals: $2,656,422