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Do NBA players get paid for the All Star game?

In the middle of a gruelling season, a few fortunate players have extra duty in the All Star weekend. We take a look at the financial reward on offer

OKLAHOMA CITY, OK - FEBRUARY 11: Kevin Durant #35 of the Golden State Warriors walks onto the court for practice during before a NBA game against the Oklahoma City Thunder at the Chesapeake Energy Arena on February 11, 2017 in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma. NOT
J Pat CarterGetty Images

All Star games, across all sports, have one problem in common. The players are less than competitive. It is hard to place the blame on the players, when you consider what is at stake. A top athlete is paid a salary for what they do for their team, not the league. Being selected to play in what is essentially a fan-pleasing exhibition is, of course, an honor. But a pulled hamstring or a damaged ligament could see your season end, possibly placing your contract in jeopardy in a game that has no outcome on the season.

The problem was writ large in the NFL’s All Star game just two weeks ago when the players put on a performance so lackluster that fans questioned why it was even televised. The NBA, however, have taken action to hopefully remedy this by paying the players a fee with a gap large enough to make going for the win financially worth it.

Each player on the winning team will receive $100,000 while the runners up will take home $25,000. The NBA is confident that the $75,000 gap will ensure that the players will truly compete for the trophy, making for a more exciting match for the fans.

The NBA has a firm grasp on the idea that players play for money. Not the love of the game. Not honor. Not respect. Not pride. Money. The very concept of “one-and-done” was birthed by the NBA and for all of the purists decrying the ever-escalating player fees, it is an idea that was a long time coming. The fact that this model is being explored by other sports should tell you that perhaps the NBA had it right. After all, these players are giving everything, their youth, their health, their lives, to this game. The league is awash with cash and it is only fitting that the gladiators who entertain us should have some of it.

Hopefully, with a $75,000 prize gap, the fans will see their favorite players from around the league giving a fighting effort toward ensuring that they wind up on the winning side. After all, who wants to be runner up if it means losing that much cash?

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