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."
|Harper refuses to talk free agency, says he´s focused on this season|
|Patriots knew Butler would be benched, says McCourty|
|Why didn´t Jimmy Butler play in NBA All-Star Game?|
|LeBron relishes one more link-up with Irving|
|Team LeBron edges Team Stephen in thrilling All-Star Game|
|Silver supports NBA players speaking out on social issues|
|NHL commissioner Bettman condemns ´reprehensible´ Smith-Pelly abuse|
|Blackhawks fans ejected after racist heckling of Capitals´ Smith-Pelly|
|Donovan Mitchell caps NBA All-Star challenges with dunk success|
|Steve Nash, Ray Allen among Basketball Hall of Fame finalists|
|Kevin Love: It was necessary to clean house in Cleveland|
|LeBron James thanks Ingraham as Cavs All-Star vows to speak his mind|
|Archer says Rays could have best rotation in baseball|
|Kevin Durant: Laura Ingraham´s ignorant comment was racist|
|Astros manager Hinch on Cole: He doesn´t need to be fixed|
|Kobe Bryant says Lakers ´shouldn´t need´ to recruit free agents|
|Jokic makes history as Nuggets, Wolves enter All-Star break with wins|
|Blue Jays sign pitcher Garcia to one-year deal|
|McCarron a free agent after winning grievance against Bengals|
|Klopp´s cakes, Allen´s tape and Batman Fury - Conte joins ranks of weird press conferences|
|Fitzgerald to return for 15th season, confirms Cardinals coach Wilks|
|Jordan nearly perfect to lead Clippers past Celtics|
|Warriors coach Kerr again calls for gun control after Florida shooting|
|Postcard from Pyeongchang: Beaten USA set for another great Olympic story|
|Lakers rookie Ball to return after All-Star break|
|Porzingis vows to come back ´stronger, better and sharper than ever´|
|Seattle submits official application & down payment for NHL expansion|
|Cavs soar into All-Star break, Rockets down Timberwolves|
|Flyers G Elliott to miss up to six weeks|
|Knicks star Porzingis set to miss 10 months after surgery|
|Manning to drive pace car at Daytona 500|
|Jazz rally past depleted Spurs for 10th straight win|
|Cardinals sign GM Keim to contract extension|
|Winter Olympics 2018: Chelios frustrated by ´politics´ in IOC-NHL pay dispute|
|LeBron falls short of triple-double as Cavs kick-start new era, Rockets win eighth straight|
|Bryant says he would be protesting during the national anthem if still in NBA|
|Mets pitcher Wheeler undergoes stomach injections to promote bone strength|
|Kings´ Brown suspended one game for kneeing Sergachev|
|LeBron James revels in new-look Cavs after win over Celtics|
|Colts hire Reich after McDaniels saga|
|Penguins´ Sidney Crosby nets 400th goal|
|Thomas ´got powers back´ in Lakers debut|
|Warriors break out of ´rough patch´ in impressive win against Spurs|
|Pierce a better offensive player than Bird, says Parish|
|Utah Jazz waive former MVP Derrick Rose|
|Korver leads Cavs, Wade saves day in return to Miami|
|Simmons can´t figure out why he isn´t an All-Star|
|Blue Jackets´ Werenski takes skate to groin|
|Senators give GM Dorion three-year contract extension|
|Garoppolo ready to continue winning in San Francisco|
|Vikings hire Eagles QB coach DeFilippo as OC|
|Sherman expects to stay with Seahawks|
|Thomas trade positions Lakers to chase elite stars, says Magic Johnson|
|Celtics outlast Wizards in OT, Warriors end skid|
|NBA trade deadline roundup: Cavaliers dominate headlines, clean out bench|
|Jason Kelce goes on epic rant as Eagles celebrate Super Bowl win|
|NBA fines Draymond Green $50K for offensive language toward official|
|Cleveland GM Altman: Cavs were marching a slow death before trades|
|Walker replaces Porzingis in NBA All-Star Game|
|Chiefs release CB Darrelle Revis|
|49ers sign Garoppolo to record five-year $137.5m deal|
|Wade gets Miami homecoming as Cavs clean house|
|Cavaliers send Isaiah Thomas to Lakers|
|Super Bowl LII: Millions of Eagles fans pack parade route to celebrate win|
|Thomas ´tired of being traded´ and wants Cavs stay|
|Harden leads Rockets to sixth straight win, Suns lose by 48 to Spurs|
|WATCH: LeBron James hits buzzer-beater to lift Cavs in OT|
|Rained out: Leaky roof forces NBA to postpone Pacers-Pelicans|
|Senators´ Burrows suspended for 10 games for kneeing Devils´ Hall|
|Knicks send Willy Hernangomez to Hornets|