After the Warriors won their second championship in three seasons, it seemed that there could be some changes in the Bay Area this summer. The team had a number of key free agents to retain, and faced a staggering luxury tax bill which started spreading doubts that they would keep everyone -- specifically Andre Iguodala, who seemed on his way out the door.
As everyone knows, however, they kept the core of the championship squad together, inking deals to bring back Stephen Curry (that was a given, of course), Iguodala, Shaun Livingston, David West and Zaza Pachulia. In addition, Kevin Durant signed a new deal, and in doing so shocked the sports world by .
It was because of KD's unselfishness that the Warriors were able to retain the likes of Iguodala and Livingston, and Warriors GM Bob Myers recently praised Durant for helping to keep the championship team together. Via the Associated Press:
"His gesture of taking less gave us the ability to be very aggressive in pursuing Sean and Andre," Myers said. "I can pretty much unequivocally say without it, we're not looking at the team we have right now. What Kevin did shows who he is, shows what he's about and I think it's clear that that's winning.
"Without him doing that it would have been a different roster, and clearly to me, a roster that wasn't as good as the one we have right now."
"He did it on his own volition, which makes it that much more impactful and impressive to me," Myers said. "He's a max player for the foreseeable future forever. For him to do something like that is commendable. Without him doing that other sacrifices as far as roster would have had to be made.
Durant's decision to take so much less spawned a debate about whether players should willingly take such huge pay cuts in order to help out their team's billionaire owners. And it's certainly worth having the discussion of why players taking less money is seen as noble.
However, at the same time, Durant went to Golden State to win championships, and if taking a pay cut is worth it to him to keep the best players around him in order to win more championships and be happy, then more power to him.