Kevin Durant wants to join Commanders' new ownership group

CHARLOTTE, N.C. -- Kevin Durant, a lifelong fan of the Washington Commanders, says he is hopeful that he can be part of the organization's new ownership group if the opportunity ever presented itself.

The Brooklyn Nets star forward follows the Commanders religiously and is waiting to see what happens with owner Dan Snyder's potential sale of the team.

The Commanders announced earlier this week that Snyder and his wife, Tanya (a team co-owner), have hired Bank of America Securities "to explore potential transactions involving the team."

"In a perfect world, I would be a part of it," Durant told ESPN. "I would love to do it. I would love to give a little bit of my money to be a part of the Commanders, but we'll see. Hopefully it's somebody nice. I heard [Amazon CEO Jeff] Bezos and Jay-Z, but you never know."

A person with knowledge of the situation told ESPN's John Keim that Bezos has interest in the team, with multiple reports saying Jay-Z might partner with a Bezos bid. Mat Ishbia, a finalist for the Denver Broncos' ownership bid, released a statement expressing interest, as well. Byron Allen, who also made a bid on the Broncos, has also said he'd be interested.

Durant, who was born and raised in the D.C. area, said he was surprised to hear that Snyder appears to be on the verge of selling the team.

"I mean, how long has he had it now -- 20-something years?" Durant said. "He's probably the only owner I've known since I've been alive for the Redskins/Commanders. So it's definitely shocking to see him put them up because it's his baby. NFL teams are precious, they're important.

"But that's going to be a team that everybody -- everybody wants to be a part of the league. It's one of the most lucrative teams in sports, so I'm sure there's going to be a lot of bidders."

Durant says he views the Commanders as a sleeping giant within the NFL and believes the young pieces are in place for Washington to start winning games consistently. The Nets' social media account posted a video of Durant giving his jersey to Commanders wide receiver Terry McLaurin after Friday's win over the Washington Wizards.

"Our market is incredible," Durant said. "There's a lot of support in D.C., a lot of money in D.C. to be made. I feel like we drafted well the last couple years. We got some foundation pieces that can help you win football games moving forward. So yeah, I think it's an attractive destination. Regardless of what's going on, they pretty much built that team up, built that stadium, built the brand up pretty nicely.

"I know we've had some losing seasons, but it's starting to come around for us. I'm excited as a fan. I'm excited about the sale. I'm excited to see who they bring in and who they sell the team to and see how we move forward with it."

Durant does have some experience already being part of an ownership group for a professional sports team. In 2020, he bought a 5% stake in the Philadelphia Union of the MLS, with the option to buy another 5%. He became a minority owner of the club NY/NJ Gotham FC of the National Women's Soccer League in March. In October, he became a co-owner of a pickleball team, alongside business partner Rich Kleiman. In the past he has discussed his desire of having an NBA team of his own once his career ends, potentially helping bring a team back to Seattle, but he says the potential to be part of the Washington ownership group hits closer to home.

"I would probably stay more of a fan than try to get involved with the team," Durant said of being part of a Commanders ownership group. "And it would be something nice for my family, and just to have in our family, that would be incredible to be a part of that group. Just get a little closer to the team if I were to be able to be in that position. Try to learn the business, try to learn from an ownership's perspective and a front-office perspective, coach's perspective, try to get closer to players."

Durant is trying not to get his hopes up, though. He demurred when it was suggested that his name and accomplishments would likely be welcome from a variety of potential new ownership groups. He knows that for as much money as he has made in and out of basketball, it doesn't come close to the amount of money that other potential suitors for the Commanders have.

"Of course," he said with a smile when asked whether he'd like to be part of a potential ownership group. "I don't have a lot of money, though. I don't have that much money to say, 'Look, man, let me get a piece of the team.' So I'm sure it would have to work out some way, somehow. I would love to, obviously, but to be honest, I doubt that it'll happen. It's a five-, six-billion-dollar team."