Since moving from Oklahoma City to the Bay Area, following his signing to the Golden State Warriors in the summer of 2016, Kevin Durant has learned a lot. In addition to learning on the court, the NBA superstar has obtained a lot of knowledge off the court, especially in business.
In a recent interview with ESPN, Durant reveals that he has befriended a number of Silicon Valley figures, who have helped mentor him in business and investing.
“I have mentors like Ron Conway [early-stage Google and PayPal investor] and Ben Horowitz [co-founder of Silicon Valley venture capital fund Andreessen Horowitz] and good friendships with guys like Chris Lyons [chief of staff for Andreessen Horowitz],” he said. “I mean, you just go to dinner with these guys, hang out with them. You start to meet these types of people at games. It’s a little easier being here than saying, ‘Let’s meet up when I come in from Oklahoma.’
“I used to think these billionaire venture capital firms got ahold of one company, invested in it and it blew up. I didn’t know that they get 100 deals to look at in a day and pick the best nine or 10 to consider,” Durant continued. “That’s a lot of work. That’s an everyday process of vetting that out. You can’t just skim through it. They figure out what the companies are, they talk to the CEOs, the coders. They have to really do their homework on it.”
Outside of the usual suspects in Silicon Valley, Durant has also learned a thing or two from his Warriors teammates, who themselves have become savvy investors.
“Andre [Iguodala] has been a tycoon throughout his life,” KD says. “Before I got here you were hearing about the stuff that Andre was doing, Harrison Barnes was doing. Andrew Bogut was looking into some stuff. And Steph [Curry] as well. I learned just being here that a lot of these guys just think about hitting singles, and if you focus on that, you’ll eventually hit a big one.”
According to ESPN, KD has quite a portfolio. He owns a company called Thirty Five Media that produces content for Youtube and recently sold its first scripted series to Apple. He also has an investment arm called the Durant Company that has investement up to $1 million in around 30 companies, including pizza chain Pieology.
While investments are some of Durant’s focus, he says that owning an NBA franchise one day is his dream.
“I wish I had the money. It’s crazy. Obviously, the financial part is definitely going to be the hardest part,” he says. “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.”
Read Kevin Durant’s full interview about business and Silicon Valley over at ESPN.com.