According to Marcus Thompson of The Athletic, Joe Lacob initially wanted to lowball superstar Stephen Curry at the beginning of 2017 free agency.
On top of that, as the Warriors prepared for the postseason, Warriors owner Joe Lacob was considering offering Curry a contract below the max, even though Curry has been one of the most underpaid players in all of sports over the last three seasons. Warriors general manager Bob Myers kept Lacob from bringing a reduced offer to the negotiating table, but it was enough of a thing that Myers reassured Curry of the franchise’s commitment.
Joe Lacob has always thought of himself as a significant reason for the Warriors’ ascendence. He famously said the Warriors were “light years” ahead of other teams, and even had to apologize to Stephen Curry in 2016 for taking too much credit for the Warriors’ success. To be fair, the previous owner of the Warriors, Chris Cohan, was so disinterested in winning basketball, and in many ways Lacob has done a terrific job.
But the one person who led the Warriors to the promised land, and changed the league forever, is Stephen Curry. He was on the team when Lacob bought it, became a superstar, and was criminally underpaid the past four years despite winning the MVP twice.
Of all the players in the league, Stephen Curry is most worth a maximum contract. He is invaluable to the franchise and its fans, and is in the prime of his career. That’s not even mentioning the chance, however small, that Curry could have left the Warriors if he felt disrespected.
An important storyline during Curry’s career has been how hard he’s worked to earn respect: as a scrawny shooter, he’s faced more scrutiny than other NBA stars. He does notice who does and doesn’t appreciate his value.
In the end, though GM Bob Myers did the Warriors a favor in convincing Lacob to offer Curry a max deal, the largest deal signed at the time (Russell Westbrook’s deal signed last week is larger). Things look fine for now.
Hopefully this rift isn’t something that will change the course of this team’s future. But it’s already happened a few times. Just give Steph the respect he deserves!