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NBA star Durant buys stake in MLS side Philadelphia Union

(Reuters) - Brooklyn Nets forward Kevin Durant has become the latest NBA player to buy into a sports team with the announcement on Monday that he purchased a 5% stake in Major League Soccer’s Philadelphia Union.

FILE PHOTO: Kevin Durant of the Golden State Warriors warms up before his NBA pre-season game against the Denver Nuggets at Oracle Arena in Oakland, California, U.S., September 30, 2017. REUTERS/Stephen Lam/File Photo

As part of the deal, Durant and his business partner, Rich Kleiman, will work with the Union through their company Thirty Five Ventures on marketing opportunities to grow the Union’s footprint worldwide.

Durant, a 10-time NBA All-Star, also has an option to purchase an additional 5% stake in the near future.

The 31-year-old joins Houston Rockets guard James Harden to make an investment in an MLS outfit. Last July, Harden bought a stake in the Houston Dynamo franchise.

Meanwhile, Los Angeles Lakers’ LeBron James has owned a 2% stake in English Premier League side Liverpool since 2011.

"The partnership between Kevin and the Philadelphia Union is based on a set of shared values and philosophies," Jay Sugarman, principal owner of the Union, said in a statement here.

“We want to be known as an innovator in our league and a team that is never satisfied with the status quo. Kevin brings us unique perspectives as a person, as a champion, and as a sports icon.”

Durant will also help the club expand its community outreach through the Kevin Durant Charity Foundation (KDCF).

“My team and I connected instantly with the Union coaching staff and leadership, as well as the team’s story,” said Durant.

“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 KDCF has been able to in my hometown of Prince George’s County.”

Reporting by Hardik Vyas in Bengaluru; Editing by Christian Radnedge

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