Fast Company

KEVIN DURANT’S KILLER CROSSOVER

Winning an NBA championship was just the beginning. With a new media company and growing investment portfolio, the Golden State Warriors star forward is making new moves—on an unfamiliar court.
“You can’t go around making investment decisions based solely off of coolness,” says Durant, whose port folio includes everything from enterprise services to drones.

ON A CRYSTALLINE DAY THIS PAST SUMMER, ABOUT EIGHT WEEKS BEFORE THE OFFICIAL START OF THE BASKETBALL SEASON, KEVIN DURANT—THE GOLDEN STATE WARRIOR, REIGNING NBA FINALS MVP, AND (DEPENDING ON YOUR CRITERIA) EITHER THE BEST OR SECOND-BEST PURE PLAYER ON PLANET EARTH—IS STANDING ON A MAKESHIFT COURT in the darkened corner of a YouTube soundstage in Los Angeles, bouncing a ball between his size 18 kicks. On television, Durant looks tall. In person, especially in the presence of regulation-size humans, he is alpine: 6 feet 9 inches of spindled limbs, elongated torso, and flashbulb-reflecting smile.

Today, he’s dressed in a style that might be described as High Grunge: faded concert T-shirt, billowy flannel, extremely expensive designer cargo pants. It’s not ideal on-court apparel, but it doesn’t seem to be holding him back. While the technicians on the set do their best not to gawk, he drives toward the hoop and, bending his frame around the side of the net, deposits the ball so precisely the fabric hardly whispers.

“My turn,” shouts his opponent, a towheaded middle schooler. “I just want to say, though, that I have to use both of my hands to shoot the ball.”

“That’s okay,” Durant laughs. “Sometimes I shoot with two hands, too.”

If the two-time Olympic gold medalist is sounding a little deferential to the 11-year-old now hurling an ungainly air ball in the general direction of the net, it’s because Durant knows this isn’t just any middle schooler. He’s Lincoln Markham, a YouTube personality who, together with his dad, Dan, cohosts a program called What’s Inside?, wherein the duo use an array of tools to slice open household objects, such as candy jawbreakers and Stretch Armstrong dolls. Durant is here to collaborate with them on videos that will go out across his fledgling YouTube channel and on the Markhams’ as a way to bring together their audiences and draw in new subscribers. Because if there’s one thing Lincoln excels at, it’s amassing views: Started as a second-grade science project, his channel currently has roughly 5 million subscribers who have watched its clips more than 665 million times.

Kevin Durant’s YouTube channel, by comparison, has 418,000 subscribers, and views on even the most popular content hover around 3

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