It’s gotta be pretty good to be Steph Curry right now. After all, who wouldn’t feel good if you’d just won your second title in three years, been the first unanimous MVP in league history and signed the largest contract in NBA history?

Curry has become the first NBA player ever to break the $200 million barrier in a deal that sees him easily become the highest player in the NBA. He’s just turned 29 and is right in his prime meaning we have a lot more between the legs, behind the back, step back 3s to enjoy.

LeBron James had something to say about Curry’s new contract, and it wasn’t anything negative. In a tweet just after Curry signed his new deal James tweeted that Curry’s deal should be for $400 million instead of $201 million. LeBron questioned the league’s cap on how much a player can make and whilst that’s a topic for another conversation, James was highlighting the fact that to him Curry was worth a lot more than his new deal.

I completely agree with LeBron, and here’s five reasons why.

 

5. Team Player

Kobe Bryant is a legend, there’s no question about that. The five-time NBA champion is one the top ten players of all time and a basketball icon. He was hugely respected by every player he came up against, but his teammates weren’t always happy with him.

Kobe developed a reputation throughout his career as a bit of a selfish player who’d look to shot much more than looking to pass. Although this produced some incredible shots, it meant that players were reluctant to go play with Kobe because they knew he would focus on himself.

Steph Curry, although he is a scorer has grown into a very good team player and has developed a very keen eye for making the right basketball play whether it be shooting from outside, driving to the rim or making the key pass. Players want to go play with guys that make the right basketball plays, the plays that when you watch game tape you say “yeah that was the right decision”. Curry has a career average of just under 7 assists a game, a very tidy number for guy tasked with scoring a ton for his team.

Field goal percentage is another indicator of a player’s basketball awareness; it shows the result of your basketball scoring decisions and a high field goal percentage indicates high awareness. Curry’s career percentage is 47.6% which is great for a 6 foot 3 point guard.

Because of his basketball IQ, Kevin Durant came to come play with Steph, which lead to another title. That’s gotta be worth a ton right there.

 

4. The Success

Ever since Steph managed to shake the pesky ankle injuries that plagued him earlier in his career the Warriors have been incredibly successful. Since 2012-13 the Warriors have made the playoffs every year and won two titles with three Finals appearances, and this success will easily continue.

Curry was the biggest part of the Warriors breaking the all-time regular season win record with an incredible 73 wins in 2015-16. People want to come see winning teams. The team can therefore raise ticket prices with the increasing demand and make a lot more money. The Warriors broke the regular season home win streak last year with 45 in a row. That’s a lot for fans to cheer about.

According to Darren Rovell, two courtside tickets for game 5 of this year’s NBA Finals in Golden-State sold for $92,000. That’s a lot of money and the other seats in the arena will have cost a huge amount too.

At the heart of this success is Curry. He is easily the biggest contributor to all this with his playstyle. Whenever he is on the court he creates so many opportunities for his teammates who feed off his energy and up their game with his.

The Warriors have now paid Curry the maximum amount, and it certainly will pay off for them in the future.

 

3. The Warriors Value

According to Statista, in 2012 the Warriors were valued at $450 million. Then Steph Curry happened and now they are worth $2.6 billion. That wasn’t the front office’s doing, the wasn’t the owner making savvy business decisions, it was all Steph Curry. Because he is so good and been incredibly successful his actions have lead to a huge amount money going into the pockets of the Warriors owners Joseph Lacob and Peter Guber.

Those two owe a lot of money to Steph Curry who is the main reason why Golden State is now the third most valuable franchise in the NBA behind the perennial list-toppers of New York and Los Angeles.

$201 million is looking like a huge steal now for Lacob and Guber.

 

2. Entertainment

If you gave me the chance to watch one current NBA player play in one game, hands down it would be Steph Curry. He is the most entertaining player to watch in my eyes, another reason why he is so valuable.

Tim Duncan is the best power forward ever, but his nickname was the Big Fundamental because he was never flashy, just solid throughout his career. He never had the following that Kobe or LeBron had. Now Curry because of his wow factor he now has a huge following of his own.

Even though being taller is usually a huge advantage in basketball, Curry’s immense value is partly derived from his small stature. The average height in the NBA is 6 foot 7 and the average male in the USA is 5 foot 10. NBA players are seen as these almost God-like entities because they tower over the average person.

Curry is only 6 foot 3, still very tall but he isn’t incredibly muscular so a huge amount of NBA fans find him more relatable. They see him as someone who could be their friend, not someone they would be speechless if they met. Steph’s Jersey was the most popular jersey sold last season because people wear the jerseys of their favorite players. The average guy is never going to feel like the 6 foot 8, 250-pound giant that is LeBron James, but they might for Steph and his diminutive stature.

People pay to see thunderous dunks because it’s something they’ll never be able to do themselves. Curry isn’t a great athlete, meaning customers realize that to play like curry is more realistic.

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1. He’s Really Good

Steph Curry is incredibly good at basketball. Scratch that; he’s unbelievable.

Steph is easily the greatest shooting to have ever lived and is annihilating records left right and center. He currently has 5 of the top 10 seasons in terms of made three-pointers. Last season he lead the league in scoring, steal and free-throw percentage. He even made the 50-40-90 club and nobody cared; it was just that easy for him.

He’s the third most accurate free-throw shooter of all time at 90.1%, the third most accurate three-point shooter of all time, currently at 43.78% and nobody bar Wilt Chamberlain, Michael Jordan and LeBron has had a higher PER than him.

Curry will easily shatter Ray Allen’s all-time made three record of 2,973. He’s already in the top ten all time and at his rate it will only be 3 seasons or so and we’ll have a new king.

Curry is also one of the top three ball handlers in the league. What he does with a ball is not human. The moves he can make mean he can get to anywhere on the floor he wants and the number of star players he’s tricked is endless. His ability to handle the ball only feeds into his shooting prowess. The number of times he dances on someone then steps back and nails a 30 footer is just stupid.

Steph is also a really good finisher around the rim. Last season Curry ranked number 1 in guards in field-goal percentage at the rim for players who took at least 4 restricted area shots a game. He is not only the biggest threat from the outside, but he’s also a nightmare inside. Defenders cannot fall asleep for even a millisecond lest they surrender points in the wake of the Curry onslaught.

As mentioned he is also a good passer and his defending which has taken some criticism is getting better as Curry has added strength. Last season he ranked 24 in defensive rating and is always in contention to lead the league in steals.

Curry is one of the top three players in the NBA right now and will be for at least the next 5 years. He’s a mesmerizing display of incredible shooting and dribbling who brings fans to their feet in opposing arenas, not just his own. The amount of money that various NBA individuals are making because of him is immeasurable. The salary cap is there for a reason, but that doesn’t mean Steph isn’t worth a whole lot more than $200 million.