Wednesday, September 28, 2022

LeBron James is in the news for the ownership group that bought the Major League Pickleball team. CBC Sports

Four-time NBA champion LeBron James is getting into the pickleball business, as his firm LRMR Ventures headlines a new ownership group buying a team with Major League Pickleball (MLP).

James, who is also a four-time NBA MVP, is joined by basketball greats Draymond Green and Kevin Love as well as investment firm SC Holdings and others, the elite North American league said Wednesday.

MLP founder Steve Kuhn said the investment will help the league achieve its goal of reaching 40 million pickleball players by 2030.

“This is a pivotal moment for Pickles in general,” Kuhn said in a statement. “Pickleball is the fastest growing sport in the country.”

listen | Behind Pickle’s rapid development:

fresh air9:24Fitness, fun and friendship: why is pickleball one of the fastest growing sports in Canada?

Sally Jorgensen and Mary Beth Denomi, two pickleball players from Toronto and members of the East Toronto Pickleball Association, talk about why they love the sport and how it helped them find a social network during the isolation of the pandemic .

Pickleball is a fast-paced paddle sport with a similarity to tennis, although played on a much smaller court with a net using a perforated plastic ball.

MLP is expanding its league from 12 to 16 teams and is scheduled to end its 2022 season in Columbus, Ohio, next month.

James’ business partner Maverick Carter told CNBC that the game’s community and “the ability to be both fun and competitive” were motivating factors in the deal.

“We are looking forward to bringing our expertise together to try and build a championship team,” he said.

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