Kevin Durant signed a two-year, $51.25 million contract with the Warriors this summer – a deal that will pay him around $25 million per year. And sure, that’s a ton of money, but it was a considerable discount for a player of Durant’s caliber.
Since more than 10 players will make more than Durant next season, Durant was the subject of plenty of criticism for giving the Warriors a discount instead of signing a market-value deal.
Durant, fresh off his trip to India, spoke to The Athletic about the blowback over his contract, and he bluntly said it’s his money, he can do what he wants.
Via The Athletic:
DURANT: Well, I’m a smart guy and I want to keep this thing going and looking at Andre 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.
Durant’s salary of $25 million would put him behind players like Damian Lillard, Mike Conley and Kyle Lowry. He will be able to opt out after the 2017-18 season.
You can read the full interview from The Athletic here.
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