“One thing my Pops always told me is you never count another man’s money.”
I gotta’ say, for a professional sport and society that is so money-hungry today, this statement speaks VOLUMES to me. I mean c’mon, this isn’t a role player that gets 5 minutes per game of playing time. This is a top 3 player (definitely top 5, no matter who you ask), that is saying that he isn’t concerned about what other people make.
We all know Steph. He has done nothing but take the league by storm, both with his play and his strong moral values that he will not break for publicity, endorsements, or anything else for that matter.
Steph was asked earlier this week his thoughts on free agency this offseason and if he would re-sign with the Warriors. Again, he shocked the world with another humble statement.
“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.”
Are you serious?! This league has seen guys who are half the player that Steph is sign offseason contracts for at least double that contract for just as many years. This guy is saying that he would be content with another contract of similar value. Now, let’s be honest, this will most likely be more than this dollar amount. But the point is made here. His focus is not about the most money AND THEN the team, city, and home that makes the most sense. It’s the other way around. It’s clear where Steph stands. What astonishes me more than anything is that this is one of the top 3 players in all of basketball saying this. Not any other player looking to stay in the league.
Now, on to my point. There are the sports fans out there that either like Steph or do not, for whatever reason. I get that. I am on the like side, even before this comment. Why? The guy does everything the right way. Family man, family first. Then comes the sport he respects so much. He cherishes every opportunity he has to play it. Fans that do not like him. They are fans of another superstar. LeBron, KD, Russ, etc. I understand, people are goin’ to have different players. BUT, none of these other players, and I mean NONE, would make such a statement and mean every word stated. Yes, LeBron left Miami to go to his hometown of Cleveland and bring back a championship. He didn’t take a huge pay cut to ensure that the team could acquire all of the guys needed to sustain success. He signed a huge deal, but maybe just a bit less than he could of got elsewhere. KD went for the championship run, but he also signed for a huge chunk. Steph is coming out and saying that he would be alright with signing for 4-5 times less than he could EASILY get in free agency. That’s crazy!! There has to be some sort of respect for a man that is so committed to the team and success in the league that he can sacrifice that to ensure the ability to win games with longevity.
I most definitely am not doubting the other superstars that signed these huge contracts. They should, as they are most definitely deserving of these. But, they would walk out of a room if this were the amount of money offered during free agency negotiations.
On to my next point. People hate on KD and the Warriors for creating this “Superteam” that has so many great players to face off against the rest of the league. Some think they shouldn’t be allowed, others think that it was “soft” of KD. My opinion? SMART. Who the hell wouldn’t want to bring in another All-Star, MVP, Superstar to their team if they had the chance? The answer? Nobody. Cleveland fans would take KD in a second if they knew that he would come there tomorrow. In a league today where the huge contracts for multi-years are at the forefront, you don’t see guys talking about signing for far less to ensure the strength of the team and humble enough to realize what they have is a great gift and blessing to be doing as their job. I don’t blame KD for leaving OKC to go to the Warriors, honestly I respect his want to get a ring before its all said and done. Steph should be respected so much for the willingness and knowledge to understand what he is doing is such a blessing, as well as knowing that the long-term success for him each year is dependent on having the quality players that he has around him.
This is the last point. The importance of morals and upbringing in today’s society. Too often people reach the big stage and forget about the things that they were taught as a kid and their parents bestowed upon them. Give to others, be kind, say please, don’t take things for granted. Steph has not forgotten these things not only through his college years, but in his years in the NBA as well, which is something we rarely see. We have all heard the reports and stories from Steph, Ayesha, and his family about him being a family man first and not going out with his teammates to party when he is home. Rather, he is at home spending time with his wife and two children. His mother and father are the sole people to thank. What makes this story so interesting is that Steph’s parents didn’t come from nothing. He was never living in severe poverty. Steph’s dad, Wardell Sr., was an NBA great himself. He could have easily had his son see the special life they life and gradually Steph could have gained the mindset that he had it nice, playing in the league just like his father did.
Dell hopefully sees the dramatic influence that he has had on his children’s lives. To have this much success and prosperity within the family and to still be so humble and understanding of how great his life is has a far deeper meaning and respect from people like myself than any stat line could show. This guy knows that he could be paid 4 times his current salary, but is at peace and happiness with everything he has up to now.
For me, this is the true sign of a professional and why I have such a deep liking for Steph. I couldn’t imagine a better player to represent the NBA and to shed light onto the youth of America and future NBA players what it is like to play in the NBA. It is truly a blessing that should not be taken advantage of. I know that I am excited for my future children to grow up either a Steph fan, or learning about their Pops favorite player and why. If you didn’t root for Steph, I hope this was enough for you to reconsider.
Thank you Steph, for staying true to who you are.