KING KEVIN: Inside NBA hero Kevin Durant’s incredible mega business empire from $1.5b crypto company to Google and Beats deal

NBA star utilized move to Bay Area to immerse himself in technology investment space

KEVIN Durant is a slam dunk to become a billionaire after utilizing his NBA fortune to create an expansive business empire.

After earning almost $400 million in his career so far, the Phoenix Suns forward is on course to become just the fifth professional athlete to reach billionaire status.

Kevin Durant has earned almost $400 million in his NBA career

Kevin Durant has earned almost $400 million in his NBA careerCredit: Getty

He has also developed an incredible business empire

He has also developed an incredible business empireCredit: Getty

Durant with business partner Rich Kleiman

Durant with business partner Rich KleimanCredit: Getty

Durant is an investor MLS team Philadelphia Union

Durant is an investor MLS team Philadelphia UnionCredit: Philadelphia Union

Durant would join legends such Magic Johnson, Michael Jordan, LeBron James, and Tiger Woods in achieving this elite status.

The power forward has a number of lucrative endorsement deals, including Nike with whom he signed a rare lifetime deal earlier this year.

The agreement follows an incredible 10-year $300 million deal with Nike signed in 2014.

Other sponsorship deals include Google, Alaska Air group, Beats by Dre, American Family Insurance, BBVA, Sparkling Ice, Panini, NBA 2K, Gatorade, Sonic Drive-in, Skullcandy, and Sprint.

When the power forward made a controversial move from the Oklahoma City Thunder to the Golden State Warriors in 2016, he cemented his NBA legacy with two championship rings and two Finals MVP awards.

He also utilized his time in the Bay Area to immerse himself in the technology investment space.

Durant built relationships with execs from Apple and Google, as well as Silicon Valley power brokers Marc Andreessen and Ben Horowitz.

And in 2016, Durant founded investment arm Thirty Five Ventures alongside his longtime manager Rich Kleiman.

The firm has since invested in a number of early-stage companies, as well as a series of professional sports teams.

Durant has invested in MLS team Philadelphia Union, NWSL champions Gotham FC, Athletes Unlimited, Major League Pickleball and the Premier Lacrosse League.

Investments also include $1.5 billion cryptocurrency firm Coinbase, Yoshi, Rubrik, Postmates, Whoop, Robinhood and Weedmaps.

Most of the investments have been in the $250,000 to $1 million range, with many of the deals having risen exponentially in value.

Durant is also a major player in the content space with involvement in sports and culture media firm Boardroom, plus the backing of a number of basketball-related documentaries.

“You see the business of yourself first,” Durant told ESPN about his business strategy.

“You know what kind of image you want to portray, what stories you want to tell and how you want to use your resources to make everything grow.

“So I tried to look at the business of me first.

“Then I hired guys like [business partner] Rich [Kleiman], my financial guys, my foundation people that I’ve hired, just knowing that you can empower people to help push your vision.”

Durant says he is now spending less time on endorsement deals and more on investment in companies.

“There’s nothing wrong with them, but time is the most important thing to me,” he says.

“And when you endorse a product, a lot of your time is taken away.”

Durant’s biggest goal is to own an NBA team one day.

“I wish I had the money. It’s crazy,” he says.

“Obviously, the financial part is definitely going to be the hardest part.

“I’ve been part of two great organizations. I know the game inside and out and I know the players.

“And I feel like these NBA franchises just change lives. They change cities. I would love to do that.

“All the aspects of owning a team, I would love to be involved in – from the financial and marketing side to the team-building to the camaraderie to the coaching.”

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