After receiving the NBA’s Most Valuable Player (MVP) award two years in the running, Steph Curry’s name started popping up next to names like Magic Johnson, Michael Jordon, and LeBron James. The 29-year-old point guard, who was the seventh overall pick in the 2009 NBA draft, led the Golden State Warriors to victory once again in this year’s NBA Championship. And with his incredible on-court performance, it’s no wonder that many have lauded him as the greatest NBA shooter of all time.
Everyone knows that professional athletes are well compensated for their efforts. But during an interview with The Mercury News, Curry’s salary itself came under question. He was asked “how he dealt with playing with lesser players who made a lot more money.” This was in reference to Curry’s $44 million four-year contract with the Golden State Warriors. Curry’s salary ranks 82nd in the NBA ledgers, and is substantially less than what other NBA greats have been paid in the past.
When posed with this difficult question, Curry’s response was just as extraordinary as his NBA record has been. “One thing my pops always told me is you never count another man’s money,” he said. “It’s what you’ve got and how you take care of it. And if I’m complaining about $44 million over four years, then I’ve got other issues in my life.”
Curry went even further to convey his gratitude for all he’s been given by sharing his thoughts the moment he signed on with the Warriors. “My perspective was, ‘Man, I’ll be able to take care of my family with this.’” Curry, who had multiple ankle injuries earlier in his career, recognized that the Warriors were taking a risk when they signed him on. He says he feels blessed that he was able to play in the NBA, and that he doesn’t regret signing that contract for a second.
Others outside the media have also vocalized their shock at what they deem to be a sub-standard salary for a man of Curry’s talents. But Curry, who is an outspoken Christian, has a different perspective. “I know why I play the game, and it’s not to score 30 points a night, but the use the stage I’m on,” he’s been quoted as saying. “I’ve been put here for a specific purpose: to be a witness and to share my testimony as I go through it.”
And it seems that Curry’s diligence, graciousness, and hard work will soon be rewarded. If Curry goes on to re-sign with the Golden State Warriors at the end of his contract, he’ll be eligible to receive the largest offer in all of NBA history. The $207.4 million five-year contract will definitely reflect his value as a player. But, like Curry says, it’s up to him to take care of what he’s got.