LeBron James and Draymond Green are now official owners of a pickleball team.
CNBC reports that the two first expressed interest in owning a pickleball team after falling in love with the sport while playing together over the years.
That love has been taken up a notch and his business partner, Maverick Carter, NBA star Kevin Love, and investment firm SC Holdings have followed suit.
“When I started playing pickleball, I immediately connected with the sport’s community and its capacity to be both fun and competitive,” Carter told CNBC. “To see the sport growing in communities all over is really exciting, and we’re looking forward to bringing our expertise together to try and build a championship team.”
The SpringHill Company CMO Paul Rivera, and Relevent Sports Group co-owner and CEO Daniel Sillman also joined the investment group and will contribute to the group’s overall interest to elevate the sport across media, entertainment, and branding.
“Pickleball is one of the most exciting growth opportunities in sports because of its committed and engaged community across the U.S.,” said Jason Stein, Managing Partner of SC Holdings, according to a press release. “People are obsessed with the game, as both participants and fans, and we’re excited to use our collective experience and expertise across sports, media, and entertainment to reach new participants and expand the community. We’re thrilled to become partners of Major League Pickleball – which as a league and sport is just getting started.”
In addition, the ownership group will help to support Major League Pickleball’s mission to diversify the sports community globally as they hope to reach 40 million pickleball players by 2030.
“Having SC Holdings, LRMR Ventures, and their incredible group as owners and investors in Major League Pickleball is not just great for MLP, it’s a watershed moment for pickleball in general,” said MLP Founder Steve Kuhn, according to a press release. “Pickleball is the fastest-growing sport in the country, building communities in cities and towns all over the world. This investment and the platform that this group provides will significantly help us with our goal to reach 40 million pickleball players by 2030.”
The financial terms of the agreement have not been disclosed. However, what we do know is James and Carter will have ownership of the team through their office LRMR Ventures, according to CNBC.
In addition, a team name has not yet been chosen and it’s unclear where the team will play as the league does not currently associate teams with a geographic location, but it’s working to revise this by next year.
James, who also has an interest in his I Promise School, will be folding the students into the mold by inviting them to attend the upcoming MLP season finale in Columbus, OH. Forty-eight players will compete for a prize purse valued at $319,000, the largest in the history of pickleball.