While the start of the season for the Philadelphia 76ers hasn’t quite gone to plan on the court, the team’s two biggest stars are making moves away from the hardwood, per The Athletic’s Mike Vorkunov:
LeBron James, Kevin Durant, Chris Paul, CJ McCollum, Devin Booker, James Harden and Joel Embiid are some of the new investors in Mitchell & Ness. This is after Fanatics + an investment group bought the company in Feb. They'll help M&N with future collabs and capsule collections.— Mike Vorkunov (@MikeVorkunov) October 25, 2022
For Harden and Embiid, the obvious connection is Michael Rubin, the CEO of Fanatics and former minority partner of the Sixers who recently sold his stake. Queue the “Harden took a paycut to help the team circumvent the salary cap in exchange for truckloads of Mitchell & Ness merchandise” jokes. Rubin is close with both Sixers stars, as we saw this summer when partying in the Hamptons. It’s not surprising he would make sure to get them involved with a business venture for one of his companies.
This summer, LeBron James became the first ever active NBA player to become a billionaire, so certainly not a bad person to follow in his business venture footsteps. James’ business partner Maverick Carter was part of the investing group alongside Fanatics in the M&N acquisition back in February — along with Jay-Z, Meek Mill, and others. The Meek Mill-Harden friendship is well-known, so there’s yet another connection.
It has been a busy year in business for Harden, who launched J Harden Wines back in August. The Beard’s investments also include BodyArmor, Art of Sport, and Stance, with stakes in the Houston Dynamo and Houston Dash soccer clubs. The 28-year-old Embiid is just getting started with his business portfolio relative to Harden, but has numerous endorsement deals and has been quite active on the philanthropy front.
You have to love that our Sixers have not one, but two high-profile stars networking within these upper-echelon business circles. It can’t hurt the tampering down the line, eh? Plus, Mitchell & Ness is an iconic Philadelphia-based brand that you have to imagine will put out some fire merchandise as part of those future collaborations. Heading down to Walnut Street to purchase some specialty Beard and Process M&N gear? I’m sure you won’t be alone.