Stephen Curry got less than half of his record $35 million salary — here is what happened to the rest

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  • Steph Curry made an NBA record $US34.7 million during the 2017-18 season but less than half of that was take-home pay.
  • While Curry is already in top tax bracket, athletes also must pay additional taxes in some states.
  • Visit Business Insider’s homepage for more stories.

Stephen Curry set an NBA record by making $US34.7 million for the 2017-18 season, but that doesn’t mean he got to deposit anything close to that amount into his bank account.

Curry, a two-time MVP for the Golden State Warriors, made history when he inked a five-year, $US201 million contract the previous summer, briefly setting the mark for the biggest contract in league history. While that figure was eclipsed by James Harden’s $US228 million extension with the Houston Rockets, Curry still enjoyed the highest single-season salary ever, topping LeBron James by more than $US1 million dollars.

But as lucrative as it is to be an NBA player, it’s also an expensive profession. Thanks to a variety of factors, Curry pockets less than half of his salary each season.

ESPN’s Darren Rovell provides a breakdown:

$US16 million to various levels of government is a staggering sum, but the state of California places notably heavy taxes on money earned from professional sports. Texas, for example, has no state income tax, so players like Harden don’t have to give up as much in salary.

Curry has become one of the NBA’s most marketable players, so no one’s going to shed any tears over his earning power – Forbes estimates him having made $US35 million in endorsements alone over the past year. But Rovell’s graphic shows just how quickly expenses can add up when dealing with millions upon millions of dollars.

Ultimately, Curry’s is a good problem to have, especially given that he made just $US44 million in salary over the past four seasons combined, an incredible bargain by NBA standards. But no matter how much he rakes in, the Davidson product seems to have a healthy perspective on his finances.

“One thing my pops always told me is you never count another man’s money,” Curry told Tim Kawakami of The Mercury News. “It’s what you’ve got and how you take care of it. And if I’m complaining about $US44 million over four years, then I’ve got other issues in my life.”

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