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2013 NBA Championship Prize Money

Update (06/15/14): Attached are the Player Playoff Pool allocations and distributions for the 2013-14 NBA season. 

The Miami Heat, who have now won their third NBA championship in team history, get to take home the Larry O’Brien trophy for the second time in as many seasons. The team also gets to take home a little pocket change: $3,811,608 in playoff bonus money.

In the NBA, there is no championship prize money per se – just a $13 million “Player Playoff Pool” that is funded by playoff gate receipts and is then allocated to playoff teams. The amount earned escalates as one’s team advances in the playoffs.

As a team, the Heat earned $2,302,232 from the pool for winning the championship, compared to the $1,525,515 the San Antonio Spurs received as runner-up.

Earlier, the Heat earned $374,947 for finishing with the best record in the NBA, another $328,078 for finishing with the best record in the Eastern Conference, $194,016 for participating in the first round of the playoffs, $230,853 for participating in the Conference Semifinals, and $381,482 for participating in the Conference Finals.

The $13 million pool is distributed to teams as follows:


Thus, here is how the funds will be distributed for the 2013 postseason:


Each team can choose to divide the money as it deems appropriate. It is often the case that team captains decide upon the methodology.

Some teams opt for equal divisions. Others divvy up shares based on players’ importance to the team. Some include players who were cut during the season. Some figure assistant coaches, team trainers and other staff into the distribution.

Head coaches are not included in the distribution. They receive separate and direct compensation, also funded by playoff gate receipts, equal to the aggregate amount of their teams’ distribution from the pool divided by the maximum number of players permitted to be listed on their team’s active list during the regular season (typically 13). Heat head coach Erik Spoelstra will receive a $293,201 distribution.

Last season, the Heat earned a total of $3,372,278, slightly below this year’s total because the team finished the regular season with the second best record in the Eastern Conference. The year before, when the pool was set at $12 million, the Heat earned $2,395,903.

The playoff pool jumps to $14 million next season.

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  1. RemoteHeatFan
    June 21st, 2013 at 15:47 | #1


    Have you figured out what the revenue to the Heat organization is? Instead of a player split per se, how happy is Micky to have two 7 game series that have 4 home games to help offset the tax bill? I suspect the drama may not be worth the revenue.

    • June 21st, 2013 at 17:15 | #2

      The multiple seven-game series will help the Heat to improve its profitability. How much it will help is not as clear, but can be estimated.

      Playoff teams don’t get to keep all of their playoff revenues. Instead, they are required to send 45% of their gross gate receipts, the biggest source of postseason revenue, to the league — which is then used to fund the Player Playoff Pool, the corresponding distribution to head coaches of playoff teams, and the league’s costs to produce the playoffs, including expenses for travel, marketing and officiating. Any remaining funds are then distributed to teams in equal shares. Of course, teams generate playoff revenues from other sources as well (e.g., concessions, parking, in-stadium merchandise, etc.).

      There is no way to precisely gauge the financial impact of a single playoff game, because the figures are confidential to the league and its teams. The best estimates I have seen are that teams generate between $500K and $2 million in profits per home playoff game, though I am not sure if even that is accurate because there are costs associated with road games as well. I would guess that each home game produces around $2.5 million of revenues (ticket sales, concessions, parking, etc.) and, after allocating total expenses over only home games, around $1 million of profit. I will create a post in the next few days so you can better gauge the Heat’s profitability.

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