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."
|Liverpool scouts to thank for Salah capture, says Klopp|
|Substitutes made the difference - Simeone|
|Sarri praises ´extraordinary´ Hamsik as Napoli go top of Serie A|
|Mutual trust at Man City is ´a dream´, says Guardiola|
|Thorley grabs four in Gloucester rout, Connacht trounce Brice|
|Stoger´s small changes getting Dortmund back on track|
|Atletico Madrid 1 Alaves 0: Substitute Torres breaks LaLiga duck to net winner|
|City defeat a ´good experience´ for Tottenham - Pochettino|
|Fury takes pop at ´carthorse´ Joshua|
|Zidane dreaming of sextuple after Club World Cup success|
|Running man De Bruyne makes it easier to manage City - Guardiola|
|Ronaldo and Zidane hoping for Ballon d´Or winner to retire at Madrid|
|Championship Review: Teenage debutant Maja snaps Sunderland´s home drought|
|In-form Neymar is good for all who love football – Emery|
|Napoli´s record goalscorers - how Marek Hamsik compares to Diego Maradona|
|Leinster rally to beat Chiefs, Bath gain revenge over Toulon|
|De Bruyne eyes titles over unbeaten season|
|Ninja Turtles invade pitch during PSG clash|
|Muller, Heynckes buoyed by Bayern Munich´s edgy victory|
|I´m confident, but what does that mean? - Wenger gives cryptic answer on Ozil future|
|Real Madrid win five trophies in a calendar year for first time|
|It´s nice to know - Hamsik plays down matching Maradona´s Napoli record|
|Borussia Dortmund 2 Hoffenheim 1: Pulisic late show extends perfect Stoger start|
|Manchester City 4 Tottenham 1: Silva-less City continue to set the gold standard|
|Hughes fumes at Lanzini ´dive´|
|Torino 1 Napoli 3: Historic Hamsik strike sends Sarri´s side top|
|Dyche credits Burnley´s resolve in battling Brighton draw|
|Conte refuses to discuss Chelsea interest in ´really good player´ Van Dijk|
|Real Madrid 1 Gremio 0: Ronaldo free-kick secures Club World Cup glory|
|Silva refuses to question Watford´s attitude amid dismal run|
|Wenger hails Ozil´s decisive ´gem´|
|City´s record run unfairly overshadowing Chelsea form - Conte|
|Murray ´normally very reliable´ from the spot - Hughton|
|Stoke City 0 West Ham 3: Returning Arnautovic has the last laugh|
|Rennes 1 Paris Saint-Germain 4: Two goals, two assists for Neymar|
|Hamsik matches Maradona´s all-time Napoli scoring record|
|Apologetic Spalletti had forgotten losing feeling at Inter|
|We stick to the plan – Valverde not risking Dembele before January|
|Watford 1 Huddersfield Town 4: Deeney sees red as Hornets´ slump continues|
|Chelsea 1 Southampton 0: Alonso extends Blues´ home run|
|Arsenal 1 Newcastle United 0: Ozil stunner sees hosts edge back to winning ways|
|Brighton and Hove Albion 0 Burnley 0: Murray pays the penalty for Seagulls|
|McGregor says MMA, not Pacquiao, is next on agenda|
|Stuttgart 0 Bayern Munich 1: Ulreich denies former club with last-gasp penalty save|
|Gattuso tries to shrug off Donnarumma, FFP controversies|
|Inter 1 Udinese 3: Leaders leave door open for Napoli as unbeaten run ends|
|Al Jazira 1 Pachuca 4: Jara & Sagal inspire Mexicans to Club World Cup third place|
|Benteke winning over Palace fans after penalty nightmare - Hodgson|
|Allegri defends ´extraordinary´ Dybala after Nedved criticism|
|I didn´t owe Palace team-mates, Benteke claims|
|Carmelo Anthony ready for MSG return, calls New York ´home´|
|Five (not altogether serious) ways for England to avoid Ashes whitewash|
|I´ve never considered leaving PSG, insists Draxler|
|Leicester City 0 Crystal Palace 3: Benteke, Eagles end drought|
|AC Milan´s Fassone requests UEFA help over FFP|
|AC Milan have ´no intention´ of selling Donnarumma|
|Bravo sees no way back into West Indies set-up|
|Reggie Bush ´done´ with NFL career|
|A-League Review: Jets keep up pressure, Wanderers get rare win|
|I´m just happy I have all my fingers - Kvitova reflects on rollercoaster 2017|
|Schalke send Coke on loan to Levante|
|Man Utd´s Matic refuses to concede in Premier League title race|
|Mourinho: I don´t like a circus when you win|
|Keita won´t arrive in January, says Klopp|
|Embiid gets last word after verbal altercation with Westbrook|
|Bring on the noise! Pochettino´s Spurs want to ´kill´ Man City|
|Beat Madrid and PSG can go all the way, Djorkaeff claims|
|Farbrace recognises England´s limitations amid Perth punishment|
|Marsh century leaves family with full hearts and fuller bladders|
|Icardi to Real Madrid? Nara will not say yes or no|