Kevin Durant Buys Stake in MLS Team: Report

Lou DiPietro
June 05, 2020 - 4:52 am

Kevin Durant has yet to set foot on the floor as a Brooklyn Net, but he’s already taking his talents – at least as a boss – a little south down I-95.

According to Sports Business Journal’s Mark Burns, Durant has purchased a minority stake, believed to be between one and five percent, in Major League Soccer’s Philadelphia Union. Thirty Five Ventures, the investment company Durant co-founded with business partner Rich Kleiman, declined comment about the transaction to SBJ, so it was not clear whether the purchase through the consortium, or if it also includes ownership in the Union II, Philly’s reserve team in the United Soccer League.

The purchase isn’t Durant’s first foray into the waters of soccer ownership; back in October, Pablo Maurer of The Athletic reported that the NBA star has twice tried to buy a stake in his hometown D.C. United, and in December, the Union themselves confirmed they had met with Thirty Five Ventures after photos surfaced of a meeting between Durant and team officials.

Durant also isn’t the first celebrity, or even NBA star, to join the MLS ownership ranks. Last July, Rockets guard (and former Durant teammate) James Harden joined the ownership group that controls the Houston Dynamo, the NWSL’s Houston Dash, and their shared home of BBVA Stadium, and Magic Johnson was a co-founding partner in Los Angeles FC.

Major League Soccer’s celebrity/athlete owner roll also includes Russell Wilson, Ciara, and Macklemore (Seattle Sounders); Will Ferrell, Mia Hamm, and Nomar Garciaparra (LAFC); and Matthew McConaughey (Austin FC).

Durant’s investment also means he may soon be busy on multiple athletic fronts; MLS plans to resume its 2020 season soon now that a new collective bargaining agreement has been ratified by the MLSPA and ownership, and with the NBA season also scheduled to resume on July 31, there has been speculation that Durant, who is rehabbing from a torn Achilles suffered nearly one year ago in the NBA Finals, could be a participant for the Nets in some fashion at some point.

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