- Steph Curry made an NBA record $34.7 million this season but less than half of that will be take-home pay.
- While Curry is already in top tax bracket, athletes also must pay additional taxes in some states.
Stephen Curry will set an NBA record by making $34.7 million for the 2017-18 season, but that doesn’t mean he’ll get 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, $201 million contract over the summer, briefly setting the mark for the biggest contract in league history. While that figure was eclipsed by James Harden’s $228 million extension with the Houston Rockets in July, Curry will still enjoy the highest single-season salary ever, topping LeBron James by more than $1 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 will pocket less than half of his salary for 2017-18.
$16 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 $35 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 the fact that he made just $44 million in salary over the past four seasons, 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 said in June, according to 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.”
ESPN’s Darren Rovell provides a breakdown: