- Programming note: Listen to Monte Poole and Dalton Johnson's wide-ranging interview with Warriors superstar Steph Curry in the latest episode of "Dubs Talk," which will debut Thursday morning wherever you listen to your podcasts.
Steph Curry is pushing his peak, day by day. The Warriors superstar has put up historic numbers to start his 15th season, looking like a former two-time NBA MVP who isn’t slowing down anytime soon. His shooting alone can allow him to play as long as he wants.
Shooting is Curry’s main attraction when it comes to word association, but he’s become so much more than that as his career has progressed. Once seen as a defensive liability, though he did lead the league in steals per game during his unanimous MVP 2015-16 season, Curry more than holds his own weight defensively. The strength he added from legendary workouts allowed him to add other elements of his offense, too.
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Retirement feels miles behind in Curry’s rear view mirror.
However he defies age going forward, there still is the reality Curry is closer to the end of his career than the start. The product Curry is on the court is only one part of the equation. He’s a business.
Forbes in May of 2023 ranked Curry as the eighth-highest paid athlete in the world for 2023 at $100.4 million. His $51.9 million contract for the 2023-24 season is the highest in the NBA. Curry already is thinking about his post-playing career, too.
Curry undoubtedly has aspirations to one day be an owner of an NBA team, or in the least be part of an ownership group.
Golden State Warriors
"Absolutely,” Curry said to NBC Sports Bay Area in the latest “Dubs Talk” episode. “Understanding the business and how the NBA is run, what all goes into this huge behemoth of an operation, it fascinates you to understand, where's the future headed? The league has changed so much in the 15 years I've been in and hopefully I'll be still playing for a good while.
“But to know that you can be a part of an ownership group that is ushering the NBA into hopefully it's super prime, and from viewership to basketball-related income that's coming in and to look at where the league can possibly expand -- I know there are hints and rumors around [Las] Vegas, possibly Seattle, other cities that are kind of positioning to be the 31st, 32nd team in the league and what that looks like.”
The Oklahoma City Thunder were entering their second season when Curry was drafted by the Warriors. The Hornets still were in New Orleans, and the Charlotte Bobcats were still a thing. A lot has changed since Curry scored 14 points as a 21-year-old in his pro debut against the Houston Rockets.
A lot has changed in Curry’s NBA backyard, too.
The Warriors moved to San Francisco in a sparkling new arena they can partly thank Curry for in 2019 after Steph spent his first decade with the team in Oakland. Curry respects how Warriors owners Joe Lacob and Peter Guber have helped push the franchise to an unthinkable stratosphere.
And down the street from Chase Center, Curry has seen how Buster Posey remaining part of the Giants invigorates fans.
“I just want to be a part of an ownership group that is as excited as I would be to obviously win, be in a position where you're connecting with the community and the fan base the way that we have here in the Bay Area and with all the things that I've learned over the course of these 15 years playing and what I still have to learn about how the whole operation continues to work and grow, I could add some value there for sure,” Curry says.
Curry also knows the impact him being an NBA owner would have on the game, inside and out, beyond the court. For the first time in 20 years, the NBA began a season without a single Black-owned team. Michael Jordan’s sale of the Charlotte Hornets over the summer, the team Curry’s father, Dell, played 10 seasons for and has served as color analyst since 2009, means the NBA has no Black owners. There isn’t one Black majority owner in any of the four major American sports – basketball, baseball, football and hockey.
Magic Johnson is a minority owner of a NFL, MLB, WNBA and MLS team. Former NBA stars Dwyane Wade and Grant Hill are minority owners in the NBA, Wade with the Utah Jazz and Hill for the Atlanta Hawks.
"I mean, it's huge,” Curry said of the importance of having Black ownership within the NBA. “Not just for the voice of the players, but the one thing that we have learned, it shouldn't have taken this long. The conversations the last three or four years around diversity, of representation within the C-Suites and leadership groups across every industry is extremely important. It only elevates the decision making and the chemistry of a group that's making decisions and running the businesses, especially when you're in a consumer position like the NBA where you're reaching out to the fan bases of all demographics.
“I don't know what the percentage is, but it's predominantly Black athletes in the NBA. So you want that representation. You want those voices to be heard and in the rooms that are making decisions where the stuff happens. Jordan's out now so there's a vacancy there, for sure. I know [NBA commissioner Adam Silver] has been adamant on keeping that as a priority of how the league trends moving forward."
Curry has been at the center of how the NBA has changed and grown in the last 15 years, and he knows he can be a key catalyst in pushing it forward. He has been a main participant in pushing the women’s game, from the youth game to the NBA. Curry has given millions to fund Howard’s men’s and women’s golf teams, his Curry brand recently signed its first player in Sacramento Kings star De’Aaron Fox and he and his wife, Ayesha, have funded millions to Oakland public schools through their Eat. Learn. Play. non-profit.
His playing career is far from being in the past. Whenever that day might come, Curry indeed has his eyes set on one day being an NBA owner – with all the right reasons in mind, as he already has displayed during his playing career.