If the NBA wanted to incentivize teams to play their hardest in the inaugural in-season tournament, it needed to come up with some prizes. Should teams play for automatic playoff seed? Should they play for bonus draft picks? There were pros and cons to each of these, so the NBA decided on something everyone can agree on: money.
NBA players get $500K for winning the in-season tournament championship. The runner-up gets $200K each. There’s also a $100K prize just for reaching the semifinals. Coaches are cut in on the prize money, too.
The in-season tournament’s first ever final four is now set, with the Indiana Pacers and Milwaukee Bucks qualifying in the East, and the Los Angeles Lakers and New Orleans Pelicans making it in the West. That means all of those plays get a $100K bonus. This was news to Bucks superstar Giannis Antetokounmpo, who was surprised to learn he’s already getting money just for reaching the semis. Watch the vide here:
“Are we getting money now?” Giannis asked sideline reporter Jared Greenberg when he told him he was receiving $100K on his way to Las Vegas for the semis. “The rich get richer.”
That’s just a perfect Giannis interaction. Here’s another one: Giannis telling the world he only bets on 34 red at the roulette table.
The in-season tournament has been really fun so far. The final four in Vegas should be the best part yet.