The house easily ranks among the choicest properties in Manhattan Beach: a luxurious four-level pad, steps away from the ocean, with pristine views and features that include a mahogany circular staircase, home theater, wine cellar, bar, indoor gym and spa.
But to certain sports fans it might hold a different value entirely — as the house that quite possibly brought together the current Brooklyn Nets.
Located at 3216 The Strand, the 7,500-square-foot home was completed in 2013; last week it came on the market for $30 million, a price point that ranks among the highest ever in Los Angeles County’s South Bay.
In the early summer of 2020, when the pandemic was relatively new and the luxury market wasn’t yet skyrocketing, the property owners considered selling, then opted to rent the place, said Matt Morris, a developer and agent who both built the Manhattan Beach house and shares the new listing.
The house was on the rental market for about three days, Morris said, before it caught the attention of one of the biggest names in sports — Kevin Durant, the 6-foot-10-inch perennial NBA all-star. Durant had sold his Malibu beach mansion the year earlier; he had also signed with the Brooklyn Nets, and was looking for a place to rehab after missing the entire previous season with an Achilles injury.
Morris gave the mild-mannered star and a small entourage a tour.
“He was pretty blown away by it,” the agent said, especially the home’s hardwood floor gym. Durant also liked the home’s easy beach access and emphasis on privacy.
Morris, who has frequently worked with athletes, including several Los Angeles Kings players, had another selling point.
“When Durant was walking through the house, I was like texting Nash, saying ‘Get over here!’” he recounted.
“Nash,” of course, is Steve Nash, the legendary Canadian point guard who ended his playing career in 2015.The 47-year-old is also a longtime Manhattan Beach resident – he moved to the enclave during his late-career stint with the Lakers. (Nash even recently played in a local tennis tournament.) He was also a former client of Morris’s, and the two have remained off-season pals, Morris said.
Nash and Durant first teamed up in the Bay Area. In the fall of 2015, a recently retired Nash joined the Golden State Warriors as a part-time consultant; the following year, the sage veteran helped lure Durant to the Warriors from Oklahoma City. In Durant’s first season, the man with a 7-foot-5-inch wingspan and uncanny three-point range led his new team to a championship, avenging Golden State’s loss in the finals the year earlier to Lebron James and the Cleveland Cavaliers.
Over the next several years Nash and Durant became particularly close, with the famously dogged former point guard helping the workaholic superstar both with post moves and energy conservation strategies, such as showing up later to the arena on game days.
“Every time I’m in the gym with him, I was always like a sponge,” Durant would remark later.
“He’s just incredibly humble and receptive,” Nash has said of Durant.
Nash was out of town during Durant’s Manhattan Beach house tour. But a couple days later Durant decided to rent the place. It was going for $100,000 a month, a price that included $20,000 a month for staff. Durant declined the staff but still agreed to pay the $100,000, Morris said. “He just said ‘ok.’” said Morris. “It was like a rounding error to him.” (Durant’s current four-year contract is worth $198 million.)
Durant moved into his rental home in July 2020 and appeared to enjoy his new surroundings, even showing up in a Youtube video tossing baseballs on the beach.
A couple months later, in September, the Nets — the league’s new budding superteam, largely built around Durant — named a surprise new head coach. In a statement at the time, the team’s general manager praised Steve Nash’s communication skills, character, and “curious and creative mind”.
To Morris, it all comes back to Manhattan Beach — and the rental property that made the two future Hall of Famers neighbors.
“I’m pretty sure they were hanging out all that time and scheming to make Steve the coach,” the well-connected developer said.
Last season, the first under Coach Nash, Brooklyn finished the regular season second in the Eastern Conference. So far this year the Nets are 29-19; until he suffered another injury earlier this month, Durant was playing a near league-leading 37 minutes per game.