NBA stars LeBron James, Kevin Love and Draymond Green have joined a consortium to buy a pickleball team. The move coincides with the expansion of Major League Pickleball from 12 to 16 teams.
James, Love and Green—who have nine championships combined—are part of a group that includes James’ longtime business partner Maverick Carter, as well as SpringHill Company CEO Paul Rivera and Relevent Sports Group CEO Daniel Sillman.
SpringHill is James’ entertainment production company. Relevent is a New York City-based sports promoter.
Steve Kuhn, MLP founder, called the deal a “watershed moment” for the sport. The deal’s financial details and name of the team the consortium is acquiring weren’t disclosed.
“This investment and the platform that this group provides will significantly help us with our goal to reach 40 million pickleball players by 2030,” Kuhn said in a statement Wednesday.
NBA trio’s investment was preceded by former NFL player and Super Bowl champion Drew Brees, Milwaukee Bucks co-owner Marc Lasry and entrepreneur Gary Vaynerchuck.
Last year, James and Carter became partners in the Fenway Sports Group, which owns the Boston Red Sox and Liverpool Football Club.