No later than this Sunday, June 19, the Golden State Warriors or the Cleveland Cavaliers will take home the Larry O’Brien NBA Championship Trophy.
The Warriors are looking for a twin to go with last year's hardware while the Cavaliers are seeking their first since Lake Erie was home for the fearsome and aptly named Dunkleosteus of the late Devonian period. The winning team also gets to take home a little pocket change: $5 million or so in playoff bonus money.
Many of us have been lucky enough to receive a bonus at work. It is always a big deal when you can cash an extra and unexpected check. Players in the world of pro sports also receive bonuses for being champions, even though in many cases it is a mere luxury automobile or other bangle in relation to their yearly salaries.
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 the team advances in the playoffs. This money comes from ticket sales to playoff games. There are a number of benchmarks available for teams to pocket...
FOR THE BEST NBA RECORD -- $790,000
FOR FINISHING FIRST IN CONFERENCE -- $691,000
FOR FINISHING SECOND IN CONFERENCE -- $555,000
FOR FINISHING THIRD IN CONFERENCE -- $414,000
FOR FINISHING FOURTH IN CONFERENCE -- $325,000
FOR FINISHING FIFTH IN CONFERENCE -- $271,000
FOR FINISHING SIXTH IN CONFERENCE -- $185,000
FIRST ROUND LOSERS -- $408,000
CONFERENCE SEMIFINALS LOSERS -- $486,000
CONFERENCE FINALS LOSERS -- $803,000
NBA FINALS LOSERS -- $3,214,000
NBA FINALS WINNERS -- $4,851,000
Though unconfirmed, simple math says that if the Warriors are able to defeat the Cavs, they are looking at a playoff purse upwards of $6 million.
Looking across the bay at AT&T Park, if the the Giants can pull off their even-year World Series special, they will continue to be regular participants in the office bonus program and cash a check for an additional $370,000.
We shall see how the first ever Stanley Cup Final plays out for the Sharks. They would take home around $150,000 for winning it all. Not exactly a king's ransom, but enough to fix up the cabin north of the border during the summer months.
You would have thought that Super Bowl 50 would have been a golden payoff for the Broncos and Panthers, but this past year's game only gave Denver $97,000 a man and $49,000 for Carolina. That amount sounds a bit deflating.
Still, the spare NBA championship change literally pales in comparison to the Warriors salaries this season...
Klay Thompson -- $15.5 million
Draymond Green -- $14.3
Andrew Bogut -- $13.8 million
Andre Iguodala -- $11.7 million
Stephen Curry -- $11.3 million
Shaun Livingston -- $5.5 million
Mareese Speights -- $3.8 million
Harrison Barnes -- $3.8 million
Leandro Barbosa -- $2.5 million
Festus Ezeli -- $2.0 million
Brandon Rush -- $1.2 million
Kevon Looney -- $1.1 million
Ian Clark -- $947K
James Michael McAdoo -- $845K
Anderson Varejao -- $289K
Let’s not forget that Governor Jerry Brown signed legislation in April mandating a minimum hourly wage of $15 by 2022 in California. So if you are thinking about how long you would have to work to equal Festus Ezeli’s salary this year, let us help: You would have to amass 133,000 hours or 3,333 weeks of work (based on a 40-hour week). That’s only 64 years on the job...