Tonight marks the highly anticipated finals of the NBA’s inaugural In-Season Tournament. The Los Angeles Lakers and the Indiana Pacers will duke it out at the T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas to get their hands on the staggering $500k per player prize pool. Both teams have gone unbeaten with an impressive 6-0 record and will be hungry to etch their names as the first NBA Cup champions. The Lakers will enter the contest after stomping on the young core of the New Orleans Pelicans, while the Pacers proved their mettle after crushing the veteran Milwaukee Bucks.
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While there is a major incentive to winning the final – $500k for each player on the winning team – it is nothing compared to what the athletes get paid annually. In this light, the Lakers star’s response to how he will spend his share of the prize has sent the NBA world into a meltdown.
How would D’Angelo Russell spend his $500k?
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The Lakers weathered many storms, including their recent 133-89 blowout victory against the young and hungry Pelicans, to confirm their place in the in-season finals. Their main ball handler, D’Angelo Russell, has had a huge role to play in the Lakers’ recent success. In the semifinal matchup, he posted 14 points and three rebounds to help the Lakers clinch a finals berth.
After the game, he was asked what’s one thing he would like to spend his $500k on in case the Lakers win the tourney. The Lakers guard had a very wholesome response to the question. He replied, “Yeah, I’d spend it on vacation. Bring the whole family, friends, their family, their friends’ family, their friends’ family.” However, many fans felt that his answer was a little out of touch with reality.
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D’Angelo Russell on if he had to spend the $500K winnings on only 1 thing:
“I’d spend it on vacation. I don’t think I’d spend it on a car or something like that. Yeah, I’d spend it on vacation. Bring the whole family, friends, their family, their friends’ family, their friends’… pic.twitter.com/V2ac2MWVmP
Russell signed a 2-year, $36 million contract with the Los Angeles Lakers in the summer of 2023 and has accumulated a whopping $155 million during his NBA career. Therefore, his answer sent the hoops community into a frenzy, since $500k is peanuts (0.002% of his career earnings) for someone earning upwards of $17 million per year.
DLo’s response leaves the NBA fraternity flabbergasted
The 27-year-old’s response caused quite a stir as the fans took to social media to express their thoughts. One fan took a jab at players for “acting” as if they were not already rolling in millions.
All of these guys answers to this question has been killing me cuz why they acting like they ain’t millionaires already 💀 https://t.co/4MtPKw8Wmi
A Clippers fan criticized DLo for blowing the cash prize when the same amount can help pay for a family.
Tell me you’re a douche without saying you’re a douche. $500k could pay for some families lives for 5-10 years. But you go DLo, tell us about that summer vaca you can’t afford on your $18m/yr contract.🤦🏻♂️ https://t.co/HRN3vO3Vsv
One user came to Russell’s rescue while calling out the fans for their hypocrisy.
People were saying ALL OFFSEASON “500k not gonna mean nothing to guys with big contracts” but when it means something to them “be tryna act like he broke” lmfao, just NBA fans tryna find something to be mad at https://t.co/QMTwM03htF