As NBA contracts soared this offseason, Kevin Durant shocked the basketball world when he accepted about $10 million less than the max to return to the Warriors and allow Golden State's front office the flexibility to retain the team's 2016-17 championship core.
Durant explained himself in an interview with Anthony Slater of The Athletic, and it's clear the NBA superstar is pleased with 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," he said. "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 was quick to point out that he's not the first player to take a paycut, citing future Hall-of-Famers Tim Duncan and Dirk Nowitzki as previous superstars to put the team above their personal financials.
"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 paycuts). 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."
There were chemistry questions when the Warriors added Kevin Durant on the Fourth of July two years ago. After a championship in Year 1 and a team-friendly contract this offseason, those questions have been answered.
The Warriors begin their title defense against James Harden, Chris Paul and the new-look Rockets on Oct. 17.
In the real world, the President of the United States Donald Trump started a Twitter feud with LaVar Ball on Sunday.
Trump believes he should have left three college athletes, including Ball's son LiAngelo, in a Chinese jail for shoplifting. In return, Warriors head coach Steve Kerr wants the two to simply stop talking.
"It would be nice for all of us if both of them would just be quiet," Kerr said to reporters at the Barclays Center. "Wouldn't that be great?"
"Modern life. Two people seeking attention and are both getting it, so I'm sure both guys are really happy," Kerr initially said when first asked about the two.
Unprompted, Kerr then asked reporters for a request to help us all.
"You know what would help, if all of you stopped covering both of them," Kerr pleaded. "Is that possible? You can probably stop covering LaVar. I don't think you can stop covering the President. I don't think that'll work."
In the span of about 16 days, David Lee has made a lot of changes to his life.
On Nov. 3, he announced that he got engaged to tennis star Caroline Wozniacki.
On Sunday, the former Warriors All-Star forward announced his retirement from the NBA with a post on Instagram.
"An epic night celebrating my retirement with my friends and family! Thank you to my amazing fiancée @carowozniacki for planning the surprise!" Lee wrote as the caption for a photo of him with all his friends.
Former teammates Stephen Curry and Klay Thompson were among those that "Liked" the posted. Curry even left a comment.
"They'll still always have trouble with the pitch and follow man Man! Congrats," Curry wrote.
Acquired in July of 2009 from the Knicks, Lee played five seasons with the Warriors. During his time in Oakland, he averaged 16.7 points and 9.6 rebounds.
Lee was named to the Western Conference All-Star team during the 2012-13 season. He averaged 18.5 points and 11.2 rebounds per game that season.
The 34-year-old capped off his tenure with the Warriors by winning an NBA championship in 2015. After the playoff run, the Warriors traded Lee to Boston. He spent last season with the Spurs and appeared in 79 games.