With all due respect to Oklahoma City, you don’t get to hang out with executives from Google and Apple on your off days playing there. Kevin Durant knew that when deciding to go play with Golden State. Apart from playing with one of the most talented groups in basketball history, proximity to Silicon Valley was one of the Warriors’ main selling points.
Magic showed players they can have successful careers after basketball, Jordan showed them making a billion dollars isn’t unattainable, and LeBron elevated the paradigm of player empowerment to build your own brand and leverage it to make long term investments.
It’s no secret LeBron is the leader and role model for players of his generation, and KD is no different. While LeBron is heavily invested in media and content creation, Durant went the start-up route. Together with his business manager Rich Kleinman, KD started Thirty Five Ventures, an umbrella company for their business interests. They are about to cash in on one of their investments.
The New York Times reported Monday night that Uber Technologies was in talks to buy food-delivery business Postmates for roughly $2.6 billion. Thirty Five Ventures was an early investor for about $1 million at a discounted entry price. If the Times report is correct, they are estimated to get a 15-fold return on investment.
This is only one of many investments Thirty Five Ventures made. The company invested more than $15 million into 40-plus startups. According to KD, his gains on paper had topped 400% as of late 2019.