set of partners: angel investors, enterprise tech CEOs, drone makers, and app developers, along with pint-size You Tube creators.
Durant’s nascent business empire now includes Thirty Five Media and a hefty
investment portfolio that he and Kleiman run under the auspices of the two-year-old
Durant Company. That makes him part of a growing cohort of athletes who are looking
to tech to expand their business holdings. It also signals a personal transformation
for Durant, as he evolves from a fairly straightforward NBA star—one known as either
the “nicest guy in the NBA” or a soft “cupcake,” in the parlance of scorned Oklahoma
City fans—into a tenacious player-entrepreneur who is wielding his outsize salary
and fame in surprising ways. And that means, for someone so accustomed to winning, learning to compete in entirely new realms.
Had you asked Durant a decade ago whether one day he’d be a budding entre-
preneur—namechecked in TechCrunch and crowned “Silicon Valley’s hottest start-up”
in the pages of The New York Times—he would have laughed.
“Truth is, I didn’t think about investing my money,” Durant says one afternoon
this summer. “I just wanted to stack it. Like, put away enough for my grandkids and
family. That was enough.” We’re sitting in the backyard of the home he’s renting in
focus was the court, you know?”
Durant’s career is the stuff of legend:
The young and awkward prodigy, the son
of a postal-worker mom from a poor part
of Prince George’s County, on the outskirts
of Washington, D.C., leaves home in 2006
for the University of Texas at Austin, and a
year later is scooped up second overall in the
2007 draft. Nike signs him to a $60 million
endorsement deal, with an extraordinary
$10 million bonus; he’s promptly named NBA
Rookie of the Year.
And yet the hype that suddenly surrounds
him doesn’t intimidate him. It somehow,
improbably, makes him better. It seems to
struggled to feed her family has an estimated net worth of approximately $200 million.