Kevin Durant on pay cut: 'It's my money, I can do what the hell I want with it'

 

Kevin Durant turned some heads last month when he re-signed with the Golden State Warriors for far less than his market value.

Durant confirmed to TheAthletic.com this week that he did that for the reason everyone expected — to keep the core of the reigning NBA champions together for the Warriors.

"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. 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 happy to take less to stay at Warriors. Pic: Omnisport

Durant will earn $25 million for the upcoming season. To put that in perspective, it's $1.5 million less than he earned in his first season with the Warriors, and it's a staggering $9.5 million less than he was eligible to receive. Durant has a player option worth $26.25 million 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'd 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."

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