NBA Championship Prize Money

Attached is an updated list of Player Playoff Pool allocations and distributions:
2010-11: Allocations / Distributions
2011-12: Allocations / Distributions
2012-13: Allocations / Distributions
2013-14: Allocations / Distributions
2014-15: Allocations / Distributions
2015-16: Allocations / Distributions
2016-17: Allocations / Distributions
2017-18: Allocations / Distributions
2018-19: Allocations / Distributions
2019-20: Allocations / Distributions


Original Post (06/21/13):

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.

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.

Finally, 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.

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


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

2012-13 Player Playoff Pool Distribution

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 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.

4 Responses

  1. RemoteHeatFan says:


    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.

    • Albert says:

      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.).

      The revenue generated by a single playoff game varies widely, depending upon the team, the the city in which the game is played, and the playoff round. One playoff game might take in as little as $1 million to more than $3 million in gross revenues, with profit margins ranging from around 35 percent to 45 percent. I would guess the Heat generates somewhere in the range of $1 million in profit for each home playoff game. I will create a post in the next few days so you can better gauge the Heat’s profitability.

  2. “I’m as proud of this team as any I have ever coached,” Boeheim said. “I think these players have done everything any and all of us could have asked them to do.”
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  1. January 13, 2017

    […] are down nearly 30% this season.  Also, the Bulls will be losing money by missing the Playoffs.  Here’s a breakdown from the 2013 season.   And we know how financially conscious Jerry Reinsdorf is.  Maybe this will ultimately be what […]

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