As the NBA pushes to accelerate the competitive environment of the new in-season tournament, the league’s coaches are joining the players in getting paid from a financial prize pool for advancing into the final stages of the monthlong event, sources told ESPN.
The head coach of the tournament’s winning team will be awarded $500,000 — same that already had been designated for the winning team’s players, sources told ESPN.
Assistant coaches will share an additional pool of money that’ll comprise 75% of the winning coach’s total. For head coaches and players now, that prize pool will descend based on advancing to become the tournament runner-up ($200,000), a semifinalist ($100,000) and a quarterfinalist ($50,000), sources said.
The league’s coaching leadership met with commissioner Adam Silver in September to discuss the idea of incentivizing coaches with bonus money and the league ultimately returned with this structure, sources said. The players’ share in the tournament revenue was collectively bargained with the National Basketball Players Association. The NBA has been hopeful the in-season tournament can generate significant revenue in the next media rights deal, driving interest and viewership to buoy an increasingly staid regular season.
The tournament begins Friday with the start of a four-game group-play bracket over the next few weeks, including the New York Knicks vs. the Milwaukee Bucks (7:30 p.m. ET) and the Dallas Mavericks vs. the Denver Nuggets (10 p.m. ET) on ESPN Friday night.
The winners of the six groups and two wild cards will advance to an eight-team knockout round before a final four on Dec. 7 and 9 in Las Vegas.
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