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Spurs' Rudy Gay says he chose winning over money, calls Popovich a 'Wizard'

Gay signed 2-year deal with Spurs

(Photo by Sam Greenwood/Getty Images)

SAN ANTONIO – New San Antonio Spurs forward Rudy Gay joined ESPN Radio’s "Mike & Mike" morning show on Friday to discuss a variety of topics including his recent deal to join the Spurs.

Gay opted out of his contract with Sacramento that would have paid him $14.2 million next season.

On July 6, he signed a 2-year deal with the Spurs worth an estimated $17 million. Gay has a player option for the second year.

Gay said during the interview, he ultimately chose winning and happiness over more money.

“I'm at a point in my career where I have to win. I needed structure,” Gay said. “This is a 60-win team. I’m joining a team that’s already great.”

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Gay suffered an Achillies injury that forced him to miss most of last season. He said he spoke to Kobe Bryant about the injury and said the toughest part of his rehabilitation is over.

He said he felt comfortable signing with San Antonio after talking with head coach Gregg Popovich.

“I talked to Pop, and obviously, he has plans for me. He’s great,” Gay said. “He’s like a wizard when it comes to that. He’s going to make sure I’m out there and feel comfortable. Coming off of injury, I’m more hungry than I have ever been.”

Gay said he’s excited about the opportunity to compete for a championship and play with Kawhi Leonard. 

Gay, 31, is an 11-year NBA veteran, and despite averaging 18.4 points per game over his career, has been to the postseason only once.

You can hear Rudy Gay’s interview on ESPN Radio by clicking here.

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