Lebron James

LeBron James is the Latest Sports Star to Buy a Pickleball Team

NBA superstars Lebron James, Kevin Love and Draymond Green have purchased a Major League Pickleball team, the league announced Wednesday. If you’re immediate response to reading that was “what the F*CK is Pickleball?”, don’t worry; you’re not alone. With that said, it’s one of the fastest growing sports in the United States and with The King now heavily invested, expect it to be on your sports streaming service very soon.

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Major League Pickleball

Image: Greg Hardwig

The athletes have partnered with James’ business partner and longtime friend Maverick Carter, their family office LRMR Ventures, the investment firm SC Holdings, SpringHill Company CMO Paul Rivera and Relevant Sports Group CEO Daniel Sillman. The team Lebron and the gang bought has not been confirmed, but the MLP said the league is expanding from 12 to 16 teams.

“The new ownership group announced today brings unparalleled experience and impact across sports, media, entertainment, and branding,” the league’s press release said. “With this group, MLP aims to expand the community beyond its current participants into more diverse communities globally.

Maverick Carter and Lebron James

Maverick Carter and Lebron James | Image: Ike Edeani

The team Lebron and the gang bought has not been confirmed, but the MLP said the league is expanding from 12 to 16 teams. This makes us suspect they will be the owners of a fresh squad, with the league’s brass looking to capitalise on the exciting new ownership group.

“Pickleball is the fastest-growing sport in the country, building communities in cities and towns all over the world,” MLP Founder Steve Kuhn said in the announcement. “This investment and the platform that this group provides will significantly help us with our goal to reach 40 million pickleball players by 2030.”


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The league plans to have its players compete in six tournaments across the country for more than USD$2 million next season, the MLP said.

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Pickleball has become the fastest growing sport in the United States, with 4.8 million players across the nation in 2021 – a 15% increase from 202 – according to the 2022 Sports & Fitness Industry Association Single Sport Report on Pickleball. The report stated that the biggest surge in participants comes from women and people under 24.

Pickleball, invented in Washington state n 1965, is a hybrid of tennis, ping pong and badminton. Players use paddles to hit a plastic wiffle ball back and forth over a net.

Other big names in the sporting world have caught on to the craze, with former star NFL quarterback Drew brees becoming the majority owner of the Austin, Texas Mad Drops (yes, that’s their actual name) in July. Jim Buss, co-owner of the Los Angeles Lakers, is a minority owner of that team.

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Sam Mangioni
Journalist - Entertainment, Culture & Lifestyle

Sam Mangioni

Sam Mangioni is an experienced content producer and the current Entertainment, Culture & Lifestyle Journalist for Man of Many. With an extensive background in digital content production and news, Sam specialises in delivering timely, accurate and witty assessments of current events. Prior to working for Man of Many, Sam spent three years at Southern Cross Austereo where he served as a Content Producer and News Reporter for the flagship Triple M Breakfast Program. The Sydney-based reporter completed a Bachelor of Commerce from Macquarie University Majoring in Marketing in 2014. Sam's work has also featured in Fight News Australia.