Stephen Curry is well aware that the Golden State Warriors wouldn’t have built a dynasty without him and his team-friendly extension.
In 2012, Curry, then 24 and entering his fourth season, signed a four-year, $44 million extension with the Warriors.
At the time, Curry was battling ankle injuries, having played just 26 games during the 2011-12 season. There were questions about how he would fare as he got older, and some even viewed the commitment as risky.
That deal ended up one of the biggest steals in NBA history when Curry blossomed into an MVP, winning the award in 2015 and 2016 while the Warriors made back-to-back Finals, winning the championship in 2015.
Speaking on “The Draymond Green Show,”Curry called that extension “maybe the most favorable in NBA history,” while laughing.
Green added: “A year later it was the worst deal in pro sports history. One year later. The absolute worst deal in professional sports — on your behalf. On the Warriors’ behalf, the best deal.”
Curry’s extension — as Green noted — paved the way for the Warriors to build a super-team. They extended Klay Thompson and re-signed Draymond Green, with Curry’s cap-friendly deal saving them from having to make difficult financial choices with their best players.
When the NBA’s salary cap exploded in 2016, the Warriors then had cap space to sign Kevin Durant outright, adding an MVP-caliber player to a team that had just won 73 games. All because their MVP was making $11 million per season.
On the podcast, Curry and Green noted that while $44 million is a tremendous sum, once Curry broke out, it was about half of what he could have been making. Curry told Green that he established a mindset of being grateful for the money he was earning rather than ruing what he could have made.
“I tried to set that foundation for my mindset right then and there and never re-negotiate with myself afterwards, never second-guess, never come back to that moment, like, ‘I shoulda, coulda, woulda.’ Because that’s not how life works,” Curry said.
Curry said he got added perspective when he looked at the NBA career of his father, Dell.
“Let’s keep perspective here: $44 million over four years. More money than my pops had ever made in the league, because I had been around the league for 16 years watching my dad play,” he said. “I know how far the league has grown [since] when he played. That’s good money. Support my family. Got a lot of security. I just wanna be healthy. Let’s just focus on that, not what you’re leaving on the table.”
Curry has come a long way since that team-friendly deal. In 2017, he signed a five-year, $201 million contract. And this past off-season, he signed a four-year, $215 million extension, making him the first, and so far, only, player to sign back-to-back $200 million deals. According to Spotrac, Curry will make nearly $60 million in 2025-26, when he is 37.
Curry told Green that his first extension and the ensuing events are something he’ll always be “grateful” for.