There were a lot of things Kevin Durant loved about playing for the Golden State Warriors — winning titles, for example — but a big one was being near Silicon Valley and getting the chance to tap into the world of investing in tech startups.
Much like LeBron James, Durant is focused off the court on using on his brand and NBA/shoe endorsement income to build a multi-faceted business venture in his name (Thirty Five Ventures). Durant has thrived in the business world, with some smart start-up investments in the Bay Area, but now has taken his business from San Francisco across the country to New York. The city he now calls home.
What is his goal from this venture? To become a billionaire, for one thing.
Also, to own his own NBA team someday, he told Steven Bertoni of Forbes (in a fantastic story about Durant’s business interests and goals).
“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.
It was Jordan, now Chairman and part-owner of the Charlotte Hornets, who made this dream of owning an NBA team someday seem possible for the upper echelon of NBA players.
What kind of owner would Durant be? He’s been on four teams in his career, he’s about player empowerment and freedom of movement, and he can be a bit thin-skinned at times (owners should not be responding to fans on Twitter or have burner accounts). That said, he has the combination of basketball and business knowledge to make it all work.
Durant has the drive and acumen to reach those goals. Whether he chooses to go through with them or head another direction remains to be seen — predicting anyone’s life path is next to impossible, nobody ends up exactly where they expect.