‘Damn, this came out colder than I intended’: Kevin Durant walks back by saying he ‘really doesn’t care about Aaron Judge’, after Nets star questioned about Yankees’ new nine-year $360 million deal for star man
- The 34-year-old gave a frosty reply to a YES Network reporter Wednesday
- Durant, who grew up in the Baltimore-Washington DC area, is a fan of the Nationals
- On Wednesday night he tweeted: “it’s all jokes…welcome back to town 99…”
- Judge will earn $40 million a year, the highest average annual payout for an MLB position player
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Kevin Durant has hit back on a comment that he “really doesn’t care about Aaron Judge,” after the Brooklyn Nets star was asked about the New York Yankees firing their new star man in a nine-year, $360 million deal.
Following the Nets’ 116-122 victory over the Charlotte Hornets on Wednesday night, the 34-year-old forward told a YES Network reporter, “I’m a Nationals fan. I don’t care about Aaron Judge at all.”
Durant, who grew up in the Baltimore-Washington DC area, later realized he had given a somewhat frosty answer and clarified his comment on Twitter after seeing footage of the moment posted on social media.
‘Damn, this came out colder than I intended’: Nets star Kevin Durant regretted answering coldly to a question about the Yankees re-signing star player Aaron Judge to a new deal on Wednesday
“Damn, this came out colder than I meant… it’s all jokes… welcome back to the city of 99…,” Durant shared online.
The two-time NBA champion was berated by many New Yorkers on Twitter for not being more passionate or more reactive towards another star athlete playing in the Big Apple.
Judge, who hit an American League-record 62 homers last season, will earn $40 million a year, according to numerous sources, the highest average annual payout for a position player.
The contract only follows Mike Trout’s $426.5 million deal with the Los Angeles Angels and Mookie Betts’ $365 million pact with the Los Angeles Dodgers for the largest in baseball history. Trout and Betts were already under contract when they signed those deals.
Aaron Judge, who hit an AL-record 62 homers last season, will now earn $40 million a year
The Yankees made a long-term offer to Judge before last season worth $213.5 million over seven years from 2023-29. But the outfielder turned it down in the hours before opening day in April.
The 6-foot-7 Judge bet on himself – and won.
Judge topped Roger Maris’ AL home run as he led New York to an AL East title. He also took the major league lead with 131 RBIs, just missing out on a Triple Crown with a .311 batting average.
New York was swept by Houston in the AL Championship Series, but Judge became the first AL MVP for the Yankees since Alex Rodriguez in 2007.
“He’s a great player and a great person who certainly has the respect of everyone in that room,” Boone said, “and guys look up to him, look up to him.”
Yankees manager Aaron Boone (right) was ecstatic about Judge’s decision to stay in New York City
By declining the Yankees’ preseason offer, Judge earned $146.5 million and two additional guaranteed seasons. The Northern California native also visited the San Francisco Giants last month, and there were likely more teams eyeing the market for the slugger who turns 31 in April.
With his new long-term contract, Judge could be eligible to become New York’s first captain since Derek Jeter retired after the 2014 season. Yankees General Manager Brian Cashman said any decision on a captain will be made by team owner Hal Steinbrenner and his family.
“I’m for whatever decision they want to make, I support that decision 110 percent,” he said.
Yankees president Hal Steinbrenner flew to San Diego for contract talks with Judge
There was an erroneous Twitter report on Tuesday that Judge was approaching a deal with the Giants, and Boone said it was “a long, hard day in many ways.”
“Kind of a pit in my stomach all day long,” Boone said at the San Diego baseball winter meetings.
Judge’s decision will have a domino effect on several teams and free agents. His status kept at least some of New York’s offseason plans going — given the size of the contract — but Cashman made it clear his team would wait patiently while Judge weighed his options.
Judge was selected by New York in the first round of the 2013 amateur draft and made his big league debut in 2016, homering in his first at bat.
A year later, he was one of baseball’s breakout stars. He hit .284 with 52 homers and 114 RBIs in 2017, winning the AL Rookie of the Year award. The four-time All-Star has 220 homeruns and 497 RBI’s in seven big league-seasons.