The Milwaukee Bucks are now two wins away from being crowned as the winner of the inaugural NBA In-Season Tournament after their thorough demolition of the New York Knicks, 146-122, on Tuesday night. In addition to the glory that comes with being the first-ever champion of a tournament that appears to be here to stay, the Bucks could also find their pockets a bit heavier should they manage to win it all, as the winner of the competition will also be taking home $500,000 in prize money (in addition to all the other cash incentives).
This may not seem like much to the top one percent of earners in the NBA such as Bucks stars Giannis Antetokounmpo and Damian Lillard, but it sounds like that amount of money has been a good enough incentive to some. But even Antetokounmpo had a bit of social commentary on the NBA In-Season Tournament cash prize that will resonate with a lot of fans who can only dream of making the amount of money NBA stars earn on a daily basis.
“Are we getting money now? We got some money?” Antetokounmpo appeared surprised when TNT's Jared Greenberg told him that each Bucks player will be earning $100,000 after making it to the semifinals. “The rich get richer.”
The rich get richer indeed; while the cash prize is equal among all members of the roster, players who are making the veteran minimum or those playing on a two-way contract will find these cash incentives to be life-changing. After all, the champions of the NBA In-Season Tournament will earn a total of $850,000 each, which is already close to what some NBA players make in a year.
For the likes of Bucks youngsters Andre Jackson Jr., Chris Livington, and AJ Green, that amount is almost equal to what they'll be making this season. So perhaps, for Giannis Antetokounmpo, Damian Lillard, and the Bucks' highest earners, they may end up splitting the spoils towards other players and staff who make considerably less than them.
Whatever the case may be, almost everyone in the NBA is rich to begin with anyway, so Antetokounmpo is right in that the rich get richer, as is the case everywhere on the globe.