The Philadelphia Union on Monday officially welcomed aboard their newest part owner/investor, Kevin Durant.
Durant purchased a 5% ownership stake in the Union with the option to purchase an additional 5% in the future.
Durant, a Maryland kid, had previously tried to buy a stake in the MLS' D.C. United before joining the Union.
“I’m excited to partner with the Philadelphia Union for years to come," Durant said in a statement released by the team. "My team and I connected instantly with the Union coaching staff and leadership, as well as the team’s story.
"Off the pitch, I’m looking forward to working in the Chester and Philadelphia communities and making an impact in the same way that the [Kevin Durant Charity Foundation] has been able to in my hometown of Prince George's County.”
The partnership with Durant also includes a partnership with Thirty Five Ventures, the company co-founded by Durant and his manager Rich Kleiman. The goal is to grow "the Union footprint in the sports world, working closely with the Union on marketing opportunities, and expanding the Union’s community outreach in conjunction with" Durant's charity.
In partnership with Thirty Five Ventures, the Union has committed to:
• Developing programs in the Chester and Philadelphia areas to empower Chester’s youth to tackle social and racial injustice in their community and beyond via social justice programs and resources.
• Address needs related to COVID-19, with support for food banks and local small business recovery efforts.
• Support youth sports programming and development in Chester and surrounding areas.
Strange but true: Kevin Durant now owns (part of) the Philadelphia Union.
The NBA megastar reportedly purchased a minority stake in Philly's pro soccer team this week, according to the Sports Business Journal, worth somewhere between 1% and 5%.
Whether Durant purchased the stake himself, or through his Thirty Five Ventures umbrella company, is unclear, according to the SBJ.
Durant was seen meeting with Union ownership this past December, raising eyebrows after the Maryland native tried on more than one occassion to buy a stake in the MLS's D.C. United, according to the SBJ.
I'll say it: Durant buying a stake in the Union feels ... super random?
Trying to buy a stake in D.C. United makes plenty of sense for Durant. He's very proud of his DMV upbringing, so latching on to the local soccer team, in a league that still has plenty of room to grow, is a smart business move with explainable roots.
But Durant opting for the Union, after being turned down by United, is just odd. (Of course, he's no stranger to opting for an easier path.)
Durant joins former teammate and Houston Rockets guard James Harden among the MLS's notable NBA athlete minority owners. Harden holds a minority stake in the league's Houston Dynamo, along with the NWSL's Houston Dash.
I wonder if we'll see Durant hanging around Chester real casual, before heading over to the newly-named Subaru Park.
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Kevin Durant won two NBA Finals MVPs in his three seasons with the Golden State Warriors. Yet he never felt truly embraced by the Bay Area and even squabbled with Warriors fans in direct-message Twitter conversations.
“Really he did check every box of what you would’ve needed to do and it still did not matter reputationally,” said The Athletic’s Ethan Sherwood Strauss. “People were not any more convinced of Kevin Durant’s quality as a basketball player than before that all happened. I mean it’s kind of amazing when you look back on it.”
Strauss, author of the new book “The Victory Machine: The Making and Unmaking of the Warriors Dynasty,” has been writing about the Warriors since 2010.
Durant memorably screamed “You don’t know what makes me happy!” at Strauss, and he described the moment on The Habershow podcast with NBC Sports national NBA Insider Tom Haberstroh.
“I don’t think from that point on that we ever saw eye to eye,” Strauss said, “and not just because he is seven feet tall.”
Here are the timestamps for Haberstroh’s interview with Strauss: 8:48
-- Impact of social media on high-profile NBA stars 13:51
-- Why Kevin Durant left the Warriors 18:31
-- Getting yelled at by Durant 23:33
-- How Steph Curry handled immense fame 41:41
-- Awkward meeting with Andre Iguodala and Kevon Looney
Warriors fans should also listen to Haberstroh’s conversation with all three members of Run TMC: Tim Hardaway, Mitch Richmond and Chris Mullin.
Follow Tom Haberstroh on Twitter (@TomHaberstroh), and bookmark NBCSports.com/Haberstroh for my latest stories and videos and subscribe to the Habershow podcast.