Kevin Durant

Teammates in Brooklyn, Rivals in MLS

In the early days of Major League Soccer’s restart last summer, Jim Curtin, the coach of the Philadelphia Union, told his players that he had lined up a special guest for a video conference call.

The Union players were in the league’s bubble at Walt Disney World , outside of Orlando, Fla., and because of health and safety protocols that limited large group gatherings, they had scattered to their hotel rooms for the call.

When Durant agreed to purchase a 10 percent stake in the Union last June — an investment worth more than $20 million — he joined a growing but select club of basketball stars who have acquired interests in professional soccer teams.

star Candace Parker recently bought a piece of Angel City F.C., an expansion team in the National Women’s Soccer League.

Consider that the N.W.S.L.’s ownership ranks now include not only Parker but also Serena Williams and Naomi Osaka , tennis stars who understand their influence and are seizing opportunities to wield it beyond the court.

Durant recalled a formative experience in 2019, when he saw a news release announcing that Harden had joined the ownership group of the Dynamo and the Houston Dash of the N.W.S.L.

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