"I told him it reminded me a little bit of Tim Duncan and his time with the Spurs," Warriors coach Steve Kerr told Bay Area News Group. "He made max money, and then at key times in his career, he took a little less so they could add a player here and there."
Kerr says Durant's generous pay cut allowed the team to keep Andre Iguodala and Shaun Livingston, which will hopefully lead to Durant and the team winning more titles.
"The way the league works, the way the [Collective Bargaining Agreement] works, it really kind of is up to the star player at key times to take a little haircut here and there," added Kerr. "Whether that's fair or not, I don't know. But I do know that Tim knew it was dramatically helping his own career and KD understands the same thing."
Durant was already considered a star player in the league before the team won the 2017 NBA Championship, but had yet to officially join the ranks of LeBron James, Kobe Bryant, Michael Jordan and other NBA greats.
In an interview with Sports Illustrated's The Crossover, four-time championship winner Shaquille O'Neal talked about Durant by saying, "You're on the outside in line with [Charles] Barkley, [Karl] Malone and [John] Stockton. You're not in the club with me and those [championship] guys."