詹姆斯令人侧目的投资还不止这些。当苹果公司（Apple）在2014年斥资30亿美元收购Beats by Dre（译注：美国一录音设备品牌）时，詹姆斯轻松赚取3000万美元，据信这是职业运动员迄今为止收取的最大一笔股权现金收益。在这之前，詹姆斯和他的商业伙伴马弗里克·卡特投了100万美元给烈焰披萨连锁店（Blaze Pizza chain），这笔投资现在估值4500万美元。
詹姆斯的对手杜兰特，他的投资收益又如何呢？这位9届全明星球员，搬到旧金山湾区后的生活可谓顺风顺水，他成立了自己的硅谷创业公司——杜兰特公司（the Durant Company）。该公司投资了多个科技公司比如Postmates和Acorns，还投资了娱乐、酒店和餐饮等行业。一篇《纽约时报》（New York Times）的报道甚至称杜兰特本人为“硅谷最火的初创公司”。
杜兰特还有其他一些投资，比如数字货币公司Coinbase 、披萨店Pieology -和共享单车LimeBike-。杜兰特公司对初创企业的早期投资金额一般在25万至100万美元。就像把公司准确定位在硅谷一样，杜兰特对ESPN谈到，搬到湾区后的生活让自己的投资和商业学习都容易多了。“我有润·康韦（谷歌和PayPal的早期投资人）和本·霍罗威茨（安德森·霍罗威茨风险投资公司（Andreessen Horowitz）的联合创始人）这样的导师，我有克里斯·莱昂斯（安德森·霍罗威茨风险投资公司总管）这样的朋友，我只需要跟他们吃吃饭，一起玩一玩，就学到了很多。”杜兰特说。
For the fourth consecutive year, the Golden State Warriors and Cleveland Cavaliers will meet in the NBA Finals in what promises to be a battle of skill, grit and, yes, entrepreneurship.
Of course, each team’s owner and general manager possesses a level of business acumen to make it this far, but let’s narrow our focus a bit. The 2018 NBA Finals will be an entrepreneurship battle between LeBron James and Kevin Durant. You thought I was going to say Stephen Curry, didn’t you?
Curry and James will wage another battle — the battle of each team’s superstars, the faces of the franchises — but when it comes to investment, Durant appears to have an edge on his teammate. And, if we really want to stick to the game itself, Durant is the reigning NBA Finals MVP.
But anyway, back to business, Durant and James have both proven to be immaculate businessmen. The latter recently grew his investment in Liverpool Football Club by roughly five times thanks to a 2% stake he acquired for $6.5 million in 2011. With the English soccer team recently reaching the Champions League Final, that stake is now said to be worth approximately $32 million, according to ESPN.
James’ impressive portfolio doesn’t stop there. He made a cool $30 million-plus when Apple acquired Beats by Dre for $3 billion in 2014. It’s believed to be the biggest equity cash payout for a pro athlete, well, ever. And before that, James and business partner Maverick Carter sank $1 million into the Blaze Pizza chain, which is now worth an estimated $45 million.
How about James’ opponent, Durant? The nine-time all-star has cozied up to life in the Bay Area, so much so that he founded his own Silicon Valley start-up, the Durant Company. The venture has investments in tech companies such as Postmates and Acorns, as well as a number of entertainment developments and hotel and restaurant properties. A New York Times profile called Durant himself “Silicon Valley’s hottest start-up.”
Some of Durant’s other investments include Coinbase (digital currency), Pieology (pizza) and LimeBike (bike-share). The Durant Company usually throws in $250,000 to $1 million during the early stages. Just like the company’s positioning among Silicon Valley, Durant told ESPN that his dealings and education in business became a lot easier once he came to the Bay. “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]. I mean, you just go to dinner with these guys, hang out with them.”
On the court, Durant and James come Thursday night will look to cement their legacies among the best to ever play the game. James is vying for his fourth NBA title in his eighth straight appearance in the Finals. Durant will seek yet another Finals MVP in a career that has established him as one of the NBA’s most prolific scorers ever.
But another legacy seems to be pretty clear: no matter what happens in these Finals, Durant and James are making enough smart investments to make sure they’ll have plenty of money post-NBA.