Kevin Durant: Pay cut criticized because people ‘love to hate’ Warriors
Kevin Durant wasn’t the first athlete to take a pay cut to help out the organization he plays for, but his decision was criticized largely because he’s a member of the Warriors.
Heading into the offseason fresh off of an NBA championship, the Warriors had a few questions that needed to be resolved regarding their roster. Andre Iguodala and Shaun Livingston, two key contributors to Golden State’s recent success, were set to become free agents, as were Durant and Stephen Curry.
Curry and Durant were virtually a certainty to return. The same couldn’t be said for Livingston and Iguodala. Golden State re-signing the latter two became a reality in part thanks to Durant agreeing to a contract for less than he could have made.
Durant deciding to take a pay cut was met with some criticism. The NBA Finals MVP said it’s not surprising because people “love to hate” anything the Warriors do.
“They only criticized it because it’s the Warriors and it’s me and they love to hate anything we do right now,” Durant told The Athletic. “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.”
The combination of the sheer dominance of the Warriors after the addition of Durant combined with a perceived arrogance and presence of Draymond Green have turned Golden State into a bit of a villain. There have been some who have wondered out loud if the Warriors are bad for the NBA.
Durant is obviously correct in that Duncan and Nowitzki sacrificed personal dollars during their careers in order to help their respective organizations build around them. Durant now sees it as his turn, which there is nothing wrong with. The bad thing for the rest of the league is, it keeps in tact a juggernaut that has 29 other teams deciding if they are going to try and compete now or wait until there’s not enough money to go around and the Warriors have to break up their nucleus.