“It’s my money. It’s my decision. I can do what the hell I want with it.”
Kevin Durant responded forcefully to those who criticized his decision to give the Warriors roughly a $10-million discount.
— Anthony Slater (@anthonyVslater) August 10, 2017
The reigning NBA Finals MVP re-upped with Golden State on a two-year, $53 million deal, and wanted to give the champs as much financial flexibility as possible this summer.
Per The Athletic:
Q: Let’s shift to free agency a few weeks later. Everyone knows what you did, taking that nearly $10-million paycut. Was it an ‘Oh, if Andre (Iguodala) needs this much, I’ll take this much’ kind of situation? How did that decision come together?
DURANT: “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. I wanted to keep the team together and I thought it was going to help the ownership bring all the guys back. And on top of that, it’s my money. It’s my decision. I can do what the hell I want with it.”
Q: Were you surprised by some of the blowback?
DURANT: “They only (criticized) it because it’s the Warriors and it’s me and they love to hate anything we do right now. A lot of players have (taken pay-cuts). It wasn’t that I wanted the praise. 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.”
Q: I’m sure you got quite the reaction from Bob Myers and the front office when you brought them the number.
DURANT: “Yeah, like I said, I’m a grown man in this league and I’m at the point of my life and career where I’m able to dictate what I want to do with my future. So me and my business partner (Rich Kleiman) talked about it and when we brought it to them we knew they’d be excited because it’ll definitely help the whole group.”