Steph Curry, the Comparison Game and Personal Finance

Steph Curry, the Comparison Game and Personal Finance
Photo by Marcio Jose Sanchez/AP Images


I love the NBA playoffs.

I am not sure if have been watching, but Golden State is lighting up the Playoffs, with Steph Curry leading the way.

Recently, I found an interesting stat on Steph.  Back in June 2016, he was the 70th highest paid player in the NBA.  In other words, 70 players were being paid more than he was.

What’s the big deal?  Well, let me tell you about Steph.

He won MVP twice… back-to-back (2015 & 2016). He broke the three-point record, and then the next season broke his own record!

Do you want to hear something else crazy? Steph is only the 4th highest paid player… on his own team!!

Obviously, the media has jumped all over this. They are asking how does he feel.  He has every right to say he deserves more than the 69 players earning more than him (minus Lebron).  John Wall of the Washington Wizards was in a similar situation.  He said the following:

“People talk about me getting $80 million, now you got people getting $85 million that haven’t made the All-Star (Game) or anything like that,” Wall said back in 2015.  Wall has a point. Reggie Jackson of the Detroit Pistons received a better contract than Wall but has not made one All-Star Game. Wall has made three.

The Comparison Game

We see this all the time.  Somebody rich complaining because they don’t have enough.  This way of thinking trickles down to everyday people as well.  We like to play the comparison game with others.  

However, the comparison game is a game you don’t want to play because you always lose. The reality is that there will always be someone who has more money than you.  The quicker you accept that fact, the quicker you can move on to more important things.  

When you compare your financial situation to others, you always end up feeling discouraged.  When you are discouraged, you are not motivated. And motivation is the engine that powers you to financial freedom.  As a result, not having motivation will negatively impact financial plans.

Stop Comparing and Focus on Your Own Story

I have said this before, but I believe wealth is relative. Wealth means different things depending on your context. What do you define as financially free?  For me, the baseline is having no debt (outside a mortgage) and having a solid emergency fund. It can only go up from there.  Progress at your own pace.

I love how Curry responded to the questions about being paid less:

“One thing my pops always told me is you never count another man’s money.  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.” (Steph Curry)

Do you consistently compare your financial profile to others?  How do you force yourself to focus on your own story?  Let me know in the comments.