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    Philadelphia Union coach Jim Curtin “shocked at NBA star, new part-owner Kevin Durant’s soccer knowledge

    Philadelphia Union coach Jim Curtin got the chance last week to meet star forward of the NBA’s Brooklyn Nets and new club part-owner Kevin Durant last week. 

    His initial takeaway? The guy knows The Beautiful Game.

    “I was shocked with how much he knew about the game of soccer,” Curtin said. “Not just the names of the players, but also the strategies and the formations and things.” 

    Durant is hardly the only known NBA star with a passion for the world’s most popular sport. The late Lakers great Kobe Bryant grew up rooting for AC Milan after spending a portion of his childhood in Italy, where his dad played pro baskeball. Vancouver Whitecaps FC part-owner and former NBA All-Star point guard Steve Nash is a famous soccerhead to the point he has even joined Turner Sports as an analyst for their UEFA Champions League coverage.

    Along with Nash, James Harden (Houston Dynamo) and Magic Johnson (LAFC), Durant is the fourth current or former men’s hoops star to own a portion of an MLS club. Curtin believes his background as a 10-time All-Star and two-time NBA Champion can only help the Union’s club culture.

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    “He’s a winner on the court,” Curtin said. “He’s also a winner off the court. He kind of quietly goes about his business but does so much for so many people philanthropically that maybe goes unnoticed because he doesn’t brag or boast about it. So again, he’s a great person first and foremost, and a guy that I really look forward to working with and learning from.”

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