Kevin Durant is already thinking about a life after basketball, and it might include NBA ownership. ESPN’s Chris Haynes reported on Monday that Durant is increasing his interest in one day owning an NBA franchise.
Though he doesn’t have any interest in picking players as an All-Star Game captain, he does find owning and running an entire franchise interesting. There have been rumblings about his post-playing days in the past, but Haynes reported Monday that Durant’s interest has increased in recent years.
The Warriors’ star has become very active in recent years in the business world, investing heavily in a number of non-basketball businesses particularly in the tech sphere now that he’s in the Bay Area. Haynes said Durant is actively pursuing it, and along with his business partner Rich Kleiman he’s taken meetings with “existing owners and tech CEOs to learn the lay of the land.”
Michael Jordan is currently the only African-American and also the only former NBA players to have a majority ownership stake in a team, but Durant now joins LeBron James in active players who have expressed a desire to get into ownership.
Durant has serious intentions of purchasing an NBA team after his playing career, league sources told ESPN. One source, who requested anonymity, says “this is a genuine goal of his after he retires, to add another African-American in the position of majority ownership.”
That desire to bring more African-American executives and owners into the league is something Durant feels strongly about, as he believes more former players should be given more opportunities in powerful positions with teams around the league.
“MJ was the first big Nike athlete, the biggest star of his time, but if you don’t have the trajectory, that path, that journey, it’s going to be hard to do what he did,” Durant said. “But you can still affect the NBA and the game of basketball in a different way. You don’t have to be an owner. I think it should be more guys in the positions of power like general managers and scouts and coaches. Anything that involves the day-to-day operations of these franchises. I think more players and more experienced players should be in those positions.”
James and Durant certainly should have the capital and name recognition necessary to explore ownership once their playing days are over. Both have invested heavily in different businesses, with diversified portfolios from tech to media to restaurant chains and beyond. Every NBA player should be thinking about what the future holds for them after basketball, but the league’s top two current stars appear to have very lofty aspirations for life after their playing days are over.