'It's my money, I can do what the hell I want with it' - Durant on pay cut
Golden State Warriors star Kevin Durant spoke about his decision to take a pay cut, insisting he can do whatever he wants with his money.
NBA Finals MVP Durant turned some heads last month when he re-signed with champions the Warriors for far less than his market value.
Durant confirmed this week that he did that for the reason everyone expected — to keep the core of the reigning NBA champions together in Golden State.
"Well, I'm a smart guy and I want to keep this thing going and looking at Andre [Iguodala] and Shaun [Livingston] and Steph [Curry] — they all should make the most money that they can make and get what they deserve," Durant said via TheAthletic.com.
"Because they were all underpaid and I knew at some point they'd want to get what they deserve. So I just took a step back and let the chips fall where they may. Then I took it in my hands."
Durant will earn $25million for the upcoming season. To put that in perspective, it is $1.5m less than he earned in his first campaign with the Warriors, and it is a staggering $9.5m less than he was eligible to receive.
The 28-year-old has a player option worth $26.25m for the second year.
"I wanted to keep the team together and I thought it was going to help the ownership bring all the guys back," Durant said. "And on top of that, it's my money. It's my decision. I can do what the hell I want with it."
Durant admitted he had seen other NBA stars accept salary cuts for the sake of their team in recent years, and it inspired him.
"It wasn't that I wanted the praise," Durant said. "I've learned from Tim Duncan and Dirk Nowitzki and how it has helped them over the years and I thought, if they did it, why can't I? Why shouldn't I sacrifice? People wanted the money to break us up and I didn't want that to happen."