Los Angeles Lakers megastar LeBron James has added a number of sports teams to his growing portfolio in recent years. He's now working with some of his close friends to invest in another growing sport.
According to Front Office Sports, LeBron has teamed up with fellow NBA stars Draymond Green and Kevin Love as part of a consortium to purchase a Major League Pickleball (MLP) team. The team has no name yet but will be a part of MLP's upcoming expansion to 16 teams.
Other members of LeBron's consortium include his longtime friend Maverick Carter, SC Holdings and SpringHill Company CMO Paul Rivera. But he's far from the first sports star to invest in the growing league.
Super Bowl champion Drew Brees and Milwaukee Bucks owner Marc Lasry already own teams in the league.
In a statement, MLP founder Steve Kuhn called the investment of LeBron and his consortium to be "a watershed moment" for pickleball as a sport.
“Having (LeBron's company) LRMR Ventures, SC Holdings, and their incredible group as owners and investors in Major League Pickleball is not just great for MLP, but it’s a watershed moment for pickleball in general,” Kuhn said.
Front Office Sports has noted that pickleball is one of the fastest growing sports in America. The sports has reportedly grown to 4.8 million active players - more than a 10-percent growth over five years - and with dozens of new locations to play popping up every month.
MLP intends to grow pickleball to around 40 million people by 2030. It's an ambitious goal to say the least.
But with so many big name investors getting on board, perhaps they'll come close to succeeding in at least getting a much wider national reach.