On Sunday, February 16, Team LeBron and Team Giannis will compete in the 69th NBA All-Star Game, a midseason showdown between the top players in the league. Tipoff is set for 8 p.m. ET at the United Center in Chicago.
A total of 24 players, including team captains LeBron James and Giannis Antetokounmpo, were selected to play — and there's more than bragging rights on the line: The 12 members of the winning team will pocket $100,000 each. The players on the losing team get $25,000 each.
That's an increase from what the Collective Bargaining Agreement (CBA) between the NBPA and the NBA originally settled on. The 2017 CBA, which will be in effect until the 2023-2024 season, declared that "for their participation in an All-Star Game, players on the winning team shall each receive $50,000 and players on the losing team shall each receive $25,000."
In 2018, the NBA doubled the compensation for the winning team, from $50,000 to $100,000, perhaps to make the game itself more competitive.
"I think guys will definitely take the game more seriously," Al Horford, who was selected to play in the 2018 All-Star Game, told ESPN in reaction to the increased payout. "In the last couple of years, the games haven't been good, and we're all aware of that. … But that's a big incentive, for sure. We're going to be diving for loose balls out there."
NBA star Kyrie Irving agreed. The $75,000 difference between the winners' and losers' earnings is significant, he told ESPN: "That'll certainly make it more interesting."
A spokesperson for the NBA confirmed to CNBC Make It that the bonus payout is the same for 2020: $100,000 for the winning team and $25,000 for the losing team.
Thanks to a new game format in 2020, teams also have the chance to earn up to $500,000 for the Chicago-based community organization they're representing. Team LeBron is playing for the Chicago Scholars and Team Giannis is playing for After School Matters.
This year, the outcome of each quarter counts for charity. Each 12-minute quarter will be played out like its own game, with the score starting at 0-0, and the team with the most points at the end of each one gets $100,000. If one team wins all three quarters, they'll earn $300,000.
At the start of the fourth quarter, a "Final Target Score" will be set based on the cumulative score of the first three quarters, the NBA explains. It will be the leading team's total score plus 24 points, in honor of the late Kobe Bryant, who wore jersey No. 24 for half of his career.
For example, if the score is 100-90 after the first three quarters, the final score will be set at 124. That means, the leading team will have to score 24 points to win, while the other team will have to score 34 points. The game clock will be turned off and the teams will play until one reaches the final score.
The team that reaches the final score first will earn $200,000 for its charity.
"If one team wins each of the first three quarters and reaches the Final Target Score first, $500,000 will be donated to the winning team's charity and $100,000 will be donated to the losing team's charity," the NBA notes.
The NBA added the charity component to the All-Star game in 2018, when it announced that the league would donate $350,000 to the community-based organization represented by the winning team and $150,000 to the organization represented by the losing team.
The NBA hopes that the format changes for 2020 will "provide additional excitement at the finish." The organization hasn't yet decided on the format for future All-Star Games, it noted.
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