'It's my money, I can do what the hell I want with it' - Durant on pay cut
Kevin Durant's contract will pay him almost $10m less than he could have received, but he says it is worth it to keep the Warriors together.
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."