Why KD is Now The Tom Brady of The NBA…Except Without The Wife Who Makes $30 Mill A Year
By: Alex Marcheschi
Yesterday, Kevin Durant took a $9 million pay cut to remain with the Warriors as he signed a two year, $53 million deal. That amount is basically what a slightly above average NBA player should make. KD, as we all know, is the second best player in the league and could easily make much more money than that. He has decided to sacrifice tens of millions of dollars for the serious chance to retire with more rings than MJ. This is exactly how dynasties are made, as we have seen in both the NBA and NFL with the Spurs and Patriots.
Tim Duncan took pay cuts so the Spurs could sign pieces, and Tom Brady has been doing it for years now. The idea here is that KD will easily make up that contract money in endorsement deals and investments, as he has been heavily involved in the startup scene that resides in the nearby Silicon Valley. It’s starting to look like this has been Durant’s plan all along, it’s not a coincidence that the team he’s taking a pay cut for is located near the biggest tech startup hotbed on Earth.
Durant also owns part of Postmates, the app-based delivery service, and Zenreach, which is a service that provides WiFi for customers of “brick and mortar” shops.
Steph just signed a historic $201 mill deal with the Warriors, so either Steph and KD have agreed to take turns signing massive deals and taking paycuts, or KD simply doesn’t care about making money off NBA contracts. If that’s the case, the Warriors could legitimately win the title for a straight decade.
This trend of superstars taking pay cuts to give birth to dynasties is very interesting, and it shows us just how valuable rings are to athletes. It was never weird to see Duncan do it, because he was honestly the most introverted star athlete alive and no one ever really questioned his weird moves. I mean, he had this creepy clown tattoo for his entire career and no one ever mentioned it.
And it never seemed like that big of a deal with Brady because his wife, a world famous super model, makes $30 mill a year. With KD though, it’s definitely intriguing, to say the least. ESPN’s Bomani Jones summed it up well:
That could certainly be deemed as a “hot take”, but I completely agree with it. Warriors owner Joe Lacob likely told KD they had to offer Steph that deal because he’s the face of the franchise, but in order to keep Livingston and Iggy (and essentially ensure another title), Durant would have to take a pay cut.
Clearly Durant is all in on the Warriors culture. But, the idea that “KD will make up the money in endorsements and investments” isn’t necessarily true. Yes, he’ll make money off endorsements, but it’s not like investing in startups is easy money. They fail all the time. KD is genuinely taking a huge financial risk here. If he truly doesn’t care about being paid a salary anywhere near the number he deserves as long as he’s happy with his team, in the prime of his career nonetheless, then he’ll be setting a precedent in professional sports.
This is the loophole of all loopholes and it’s having a seismic ripple effect on the NBA. The Rockets just added the best point guard in the league to a team that already had James Harden, a player who would have won the MVP most other years, and they have no chance at beating Golden State in a seven game series. The Thunder traded for Paul George, pairing him up with the dynamic Russell Westbrook, and they too have no chance. Hell, the Cavs likely don’t even have a chance unless something miraculous happens with Melo. Yes, the Spurs were beating GSW in game one before Kawhi got hurt, but I still find it hard to think they would have won the series. Next year the Warriors will be an even more well oiled machine, and that’s scary to think about.
KD’s willingness to sacrifice large sums of money in order to ensure titles is re-shaping the NBA. This summer will go down in the history books as the one that changed the NBA forever.