Kevin Durant is continuing to expand his business interests.
The Brooklyn Nets forward bought a minority stake in the Philadelphia Union of Major League Soccer, according to Sports Business Daily. Durant owns 5 percent of the club, but has the option to purchase an additional 5 percent in the future, according to ESPN.
Durant, 31, was drawn in by how quickly soccer’s popularity is rising in the United States.
"I've been a fan of the sport, and then seeing how fast the popularity of the league was growing, seeing more fans pop up in different cities around the country, and then seeing how these franchises impact the city's businesses and people individually was very intriguing," Durant told ESPN in an exclusive interview.
Durant has apparently been pursuing minority ownership in an MLS team for a while, as the Sports Business Daily report says he has twice tried to buy a stake in his hometown D.C. United. It’s just one of many business interests Durant has pursued, either personally or through his Thirty Five Ventures business.
“I want to own and run an NBA team — run day-to-day operations and impact young players coming through the league,” he says, ticking off the path that Michael Jordan took to become a billionaire.
Durant again reiterated that desire to ESPN, saying owning an NBA team is still “the goal.”
That obviously won’t be happening while Durant is still playing (it also might be hard as Jordan has Air Jordan money and bought the Charlotte Hornets before NBA team values really took off), so it’s the MLS for now.
Durant isn’t alone among NBA stars in buying an MLS team either, as Houston Rockets guard James Harden bought into the MLS’s Houston Dynamo and NWSL’s Houston Dash last year. NFL star Russell Wilson also owns a stake of the Seattle Sounders with his wife Ciara.
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