NBA stars LeBron James, Draymond Green buying Major League Pickleball team

Dray, LeBron lead group buying Major League Pickleball team originally appeared on NBC Sports Bayarea

After being crowned champion for the fourth time over his 10-year NBA career, Warriors star forward Draymond Green is taking his expertise from one court to another.

Green leads a group of NBA players, alongside Los Angeles Lakers superstar LeBron James and five-time All-Star Kevin Love, investing in Major League Pickleball, the league announced on Wednesday.

As pickleball continues to be one of the fastest-growing sports in the United States, the group purchased an expansion team that is coming to the league next season.

Maverick Carter, James’ longtime friend and business partner, shared that the group’s overall interest in the sport came from playing it together over the past couple of years.

“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 in an interview. “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.”

Anne Worcester, MLP’s strategic advisor, explained that the demand for owning a pickleball team is increasing with more than 60 different groups showing interest. So much so, that MLP team values have skyrocketed since the league launched in 2021, estimated in the seven-figure range now.

The name of the team, where it will play and other specific details weren’t immediately available.

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Pickleball is often described as the perfect blend of tennis, ping-pong and badminton. It's a fast-paced sport based on quick hands and reflexes, but is also strategic.

It's like a chess match on a court.

That sounds familiar to Green and James, who know a thing or two about how to work a court, and the IQ you need to really take things to the next level.

As leaders of their respective NBA teams, they'll take their knowledge and championship DNA to another league.

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