Stephen Curry is not paid like one of the top players in the NBA. However, Curry has a great perspective on that status and it comes from his father, former NBA player Dell Curry.
Curry, the two-time reigning NBA MVP, is in the final year of a four-year, $44 million extension he signed with the Warriors in 2012. His salary this season — $12.1 million — ranks just 82nd among all NBA players and fourth on his own team.
While the contract has been a steal for the Warriors, it was actually considered risky for Golden State at the time. Curry was considered a gifted shooter, but he had been plagued with ankle injuries, and had not yet developed into an MVP-calibre player.
In a recent interview with Tim Kawakami of The Mercury News, Curry was asked how he dealt with playing with lesser players who make a lot more money. Curry said he keeps things in perspective by leaning on some advice his father once gave him.
“One thing my pops always told me is you never count another man’s money,” Curry told Kawakami. “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 added that even at the time he signed the deal, he knew he was taking less than other players, but he wasn’t going to regret the decision.
“I remember sitting in a hotel, at the Ritz-Carlton in Phoenix, right before our opening night game against the Suns and sitting with Bob Myers and coach (Mark) Jackson and signing that contract … My perspective was, ‘Man, I’ll be able to take care of my family with this. Blessed to be able to know I’ll be playing at least in the NBA for four years and see where it goes from there.’ But I literally told myself in that hotel room that day, knowing what the max was I think at the time was probably, 56 or 58 [million], somewhere in there, I think Eric Gordon and guys like that were getting that money, I was, ‘You can’t think 20-20 hindsight, go back and worry about what other guys are making.'”
While Curry is making $12.1 million at a time when former teammate Harrison Barnes is making nearly twice that ($22.1 million) with the Dallas Mavericks, Curry’s situation will soon be rectified.
If Curry re-signs with the Warriors this summer as expected, he will be eligible for a five-year, $207.4 million contract, the largest in NBA history. His salary next season would jump to $35.7 million and would reach approximately $48 million in the final season.
When that happens, you can be certain that other players will be counting Curry’s money.
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