Kevin Durant defends taking pay cut for the Warriors

Kevin Durant

Reigning NBA Finals MVP Kevin Durant found himself the subject of a somewhat ridiculous debate earlier this summer. Durant took a sizable pay cut with the Golden State Warriors in an attempt to help the defending champs retain their core group of players.

Normally, when someone does something of that ilk, he is lauded for being selfless. But in Durant’s case, there were some who took exception to his decision to give the Warriors a discount.

For this, Durant himself has a response.

“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 Anthony Slater of The Athletic. “Because they were all underpaid and I knew at some point they’d want to get what they deserve.

That sounds like a team-first guy right there. Durant took a two-year, $53 million deal with Golden State back in July. It calls for $25 million this upcoming season, after which point the former MVP will likely opt out in order to sign a long-term deal with the Warriors.

As Durant noted, this enabled Golden State to retain Shaun Livingston and Andre Iguodala. It also allowed for Stephen Curry to receive what was then the richest contract in NBA history.

Though, for his part, Durant didn’t stop there. He decided to talk directly to his detractors.

“So I just took a step back and let the chips fall where they may,” the forward continued. “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.”

In some way, there are people out there who still have an issue with Durant leaving Oklahoma City for Golden State last summer. Those individuals were given a new voice after Durant put up an MVP performance in the Warriors’ NBA Finals win over the Cleveland Cavaliers.

But for Durant, it’s readily apparent that he’s not going to sit back and take it.