A mostly quiet December for the Union was jolted to life Friday, when NBA star Kevin Durant met with team owners Jay Sugarman and Richard Leibovitch in Chester. Durant was joined by colleagues from his company, Thirty Five Ventures, which invests in a range of sports, technology, media, and philanthropic entities.
What did they talk about? A Union spokesperson offered only this one-sentence statement: “We entertained Thirty Five Ventures for a meeting with Union ownership.”
A Thirty Five Ventures spokesperson said the company had no comment.
The meeting apparently took place at the former Delaware County Electric Co. generating station, now known as the Wharf building. It’s home to the team’s corporate offices, in the same complex as Talen Energy Stadium, the team’s training facility, and its practice fields.
Other companies have offices in the Wharf building, the biggest being Power Home Remodeling. While Durant was there, two people who work in the building tweeted photos of him walking through the lobby. One of the pictures included Sugarman and Union manager Jim Curtin.
That photo was subsequently deleted, but a few showing just Durant were left up.
This much is known: Durant has been interested for a while in investing in a Major League Soccer team. In October, The Athletic reported that he met twice with D.C. United, his hometown team: first in 2012, then in 2018. Neither effort resulted in a deal.
In that same report, The Athletic said Durant might look into investing in a different MLS team.
Durant signed with the Brooklyn Nets as a free agent in July, but he isn’t playing this season because of a ruptured Achilles tendon suffered in last season’s NBA Finals.
The New York Post reported in October that Thirty Five Ventures had leased office space in Manhattan’s trendy Chelsea neighborhood after Durant joined the Nets.
If he buys a stake in the Union, Durant would not be the first NBA player to invest in a MLS team. In July, the Houston Rockets’ James Harden became a minority owner of the entity that runs MLS’ Houston Dynamo and the National Women’s Soccer League’s Houston Dash.