Kevin Durant took significantly less money in free agency to help the Golden State Warriors re-sign Andre Iguodala and Shaun Livingston. Durant spoke about it with Anthony Slater for The Athletic in his first interview since his decision.
"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," said Durant. "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."
Durant received criticism from some members of the media and fans for taking less money.
"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 confirmed that he brought the number to the Warriors.
"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."