Fresh off his fourth NBA championship and first Finals MVP, life is good for Golden State Warriors superstar Stephen Curry. The two-time league MVP sat down with Rolling Stone magazine and talked about running it back this coming season and going for his fifth title, his plans to make change off the court, and how his partnership with Under Armour has evolved.
The apparel and footwear brand is poised to give Curry a lifetime deal worth $1 billion with an imprint for Curry brand shoes and apparel, similar to Nike’s deal with Michael Jordan.
Curry joined the UA back in 2013 after he left Nike. One of the reasons Curry left the swoosh was that when the brand reps came to pitch him, they used a generic power point presentation and forgot to change the name of the athlete to Curry’s. He signed with Under Armour for close to $4 million per year. Since then, that number has risen to around $20 million annually.
Things haven’t always been so smooth between Curry and Under Armour. The sharpshooter almost left the brand. In 2018 Curry and Under Armour CEO Kevin Plank met and discussed Plank’s support of then-President Donald Trump. Curry is a vocal critic of Trump’s.
“There wasn’t quite an understanding of what it took to run a business like that properly,” Curry told Rolling Stone of Under Armour’s commitment to his shoes at the time. “So, yeah, I got mad.
“I don’t have to raise my voice to get mad. That’s the best part about it.”
Curry believes he can have an impact that matches or exceeds that of Jordan’s. Maybe not in terms of shoe sales but in terms of impact. The Curry brand won’t just feature basketball related items, there will be golf shoes and apparel as well. Curry is a noted golfer; it is his second-favorite sport.
At 34, Curry is still elite at basketball, he won his first Finals MVP in June, and he’s poised to lead the Warriors to another title this coming season. The Warriors are +600 favorites according to Las Vegas and are projected to come out of the Western Conference.
Of course, it’s only September and a lot can happen between now and June 2023. A large part of the Warriors success outside of Curry, Klay Thompson and Draymond Green will be the development of James Wiseman, Moses Moody and Jonathan Kuminga.
If the young guys develop and play up to their potential, they will extend the primes of the “Big 3” and set the Warriors up for future success.
The Warriors begin next season with the highest team payroll at just over $196 million, and they will have a luxury tax bill in the neighborhood of $165 million. While owner Joe Lacob has deep pockets, he may not want to continue paying deep into the luxury tax, especially if they don’t win. So Curry will be motivated to do whatever it takes to keep the Warriors on top for at least one more season.