Stephen Curry, the high-scoring point guard for the Golden State Warriors, recently became the second-highest-paid basketball player of all time. Curry agreed to a $201 million contract to be paid out over the next five seasons. His salary for the 2017-2018 season will be just over $40 million.
But Curry was not always paid the big bucks. In 2012, he signed a four-year contract with the Golden State Warriors worth $44 million. During the 2016-2017 season, he earned $12.1 million, making him the 82nd highest-paid player in the NBA.
Curry shot from 82nd to 2nd fueled by a simple strategy: focusing on himself, instead of worrying about how much others were making.
"One thing my pops always told me is you never count another man's money," Curry says in an interview with 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 $44 million over four years, then I've got other issues in my life."
This outlook paid off. During the past four seasons, Curry won the Most Valuable Player award twice, helped the Warriors snatch two championships and set multiple scoring records with his "Splash Brother" Klay Thompson. In 2016, Curry was the first unanimous MVP winner in NBA history.
Based on his new contract and his experience level, Curry is eligible to make 35 percent of NBA salary cap for the upcoming season (currently set at $99.093 million) and can receive an 8 percent annual raise thereafter — meaning he could actually make as much as $203.5 million over the next five seasons.
Curry's teammates and fans agree that his new raise is much deserved. One of his biggest competitors, LeBron James, even said that $201 million comes short of what he is worth. James "Steph should be getting $400M."
Not only would $400 million be an unprecedented amount of money, it would also be impossible due to the NBA salary cap. The only person who currently has a contract bigger than Curry is the Houston Rockets' James Harden.
On Sunday, Harden signed a monstrous $228 million four-season contract with the Rockets, making him the highest-paid NBA player in history.
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