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2013 NBA Championship Prize Money

This was never about winning. It was never about the rings or legacy or proving to the world that the Big Three model does work. Never about the pure joy of being the best at what you do. This was always about the money.

The Miami Heat, who have now won their third NBA championship, 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 bonus 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 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. Often assistant coaches, team trainers and other staff are figured into the 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

      In retrospect, the multiple seven-game series will help very slightly in a couple of ways – the increased revenues will increase league-wide revenues and thus potentially the salary cap and tax threshold for next season, and they will help to offset some of the operating losses for the Heat.

      The distribution of playoff revenues is shrouded in mystery. Unlike the regular season, teams don’t get to keep all of it. In fact, playoff teams send a little more than half of their playoff revenue to the league. A small portion of it is then used to fund the playoff pool. I don’t have any information on where the rest goes. Whatever portion the Heat does get will also be subject to revenue sharing. So the extra game or two along the way certainly does help, but for a team that spent more than $90 million on payroll alone this season, it’s probably not all that material.

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