Durant was a global icon when he played in Oklahoma City, after all. And though it’s been said that both Nowitzki and Durant could make their money back through endorsements, Nowitzki has famously eschewed endorsement deals, except for his Nike contract, and it doesn’t matter if Durant makes the money back through endorsements. Why couldn’t he have signed the bigger deal and still garnered all the same endorsements?
It’s not that straightforward. In theory, Durant’s decision makes it easier for him to win another title, and every title, in theory, makes the revenue he can generate through endorsements go up. You could almost look at this as an investment.
That is not to take away from the point of the article, which is that league measures that protect the billionaire owners aren’t really justified, and Durant’s decision isn’t one he should even have to make. He should be able to make every dollar he is worth.
This, of course, will not end up hurting the billionaires very much, if at all. The league will just start charging ESPN and other networks more, and those $11 beers will start costing $13.