Lakers Coach Darvin Ham Advocates for Higher In-Season Tournament Prize Money in NBA

‣ The NBA’s first-ever In-Season Tournament offers significant monetary rewards to players, with each player winning $500,000 for lifting the trophy, $200,000 for making the final, $100,000 for reaching the last four, and $50,000 for those who make it to the quarterfinals.
Los Angeles Lakers coach Darvin Ham believes the amount of money offered to athletes is not enough to keep them motivated and suggests increasing the tournament purse for future editions.
‣ Ham also revealed that the In-Season Tournament has engaged his squad’s young players and inspired a competitive spirit within the team.


When NBA Commissioner Adam Silver first mentioned the In-Season Tournament, the response was lukewarm at best. The league had its work cut out for it. They needed to craft a marketing strategy to make the tournament feel unique and devise a bonus structure to make teams and players take it seriously.

Fast forward to the competition’s final in Las Vegas. Now, the franchises know that more than just glory is at stake. There’s big money involved too. Each player stands to win $500,000 for lifting the trophy. There are also cash prizes for reaching the final, the last four, and the quarterfinals.

Yet, Los Angeles Lakers coach Darvin Ham thinks the prize money isn’t enough. He believes that to make the In-Season Tournament a success, players need to stay motivated.

Ham was asked how the NBA could enhance the competition for future editions. His answer was straight to the point. He suggested, “Yeah, add more money to the purse … Once I reflect, I’m sure I can come up with something, but right now just add more money to the purse.”

There’s also been talk of giving the winning team a playoff-seeding advantage. Ham isn’t against this, but he insists that the real issue is the prize money. He said, “Possibly. Possibly that’s something definitely that should be looked at. Maybe it’s some type of draft compensation as well as the purse, I don’t know, something like that. I think it would be cool. But if you want the players to play at an extremely high level, increase the purse.”

Before his team was eliminated, Bucks star Khris Middleton seemed content with the proposed prize. He said, “I’m sure the richest guy in the world would be happy to get $500,000. We’re all excited about that opportunity to get some extra cash.”

Interestingly, Ham revealed that his team’s younger players have been deeply engaged in the In-Season competition. He noticed that the younger members of his roster were excited and invested in the tournament. He believes that these matches are showing his rising stars what it takes to succeed at the highest level.

Ham also commented on how the atmosphere surrounding the NBA’s newest competition has sparked a fierce competitive spirit within his team. He said, “This type of environment brings out your competitive spirit, and I think first and foremost — the money is great. We all laugh and joke about the money, and the money is always the focus. But really as a professional, you look at the approach, the mental approach, the competitive spirit, and again, the effort that’s given throughout the course of the game possession by possession.”

James Shotwell
James Shotwell
James, a dedicated writer for BasketballHour, holds a degree in English and Creative Writing. A genuine sports enthusiast and skilled betting advice provider, he writes engaging articles and valuable winning strategies for sports.

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