CLEVELAND — Editor's note: the video in the player above is from a previous story.
LeBron James and Kevin Love are teaming up once again.
On Wednesday, Major League Pickleball announced that the former Cleveland Cavaliers teammates are among the investors in an ownership group purchasing a team in the league. In addition to Love, the group consists of James and his friend and business partner Maverick Carter and their LRMR Ventures, Golden State Warriors forward Draymond Green, the SpringHill Company CMO Paul Rivera, and Relevent Sports Group co-owner and CEO Daniel Sillman.
Having originally launched in 2021, Major League Pickleball is set to expand from 12 teams to 16. Players will compete in six tournaments across six U.S. cities for more than $2 million in 2023.
In a release, MLP said that the James-led ownership group will bring "unparalleled experience and impact across sports, media, entertainment, and branding" to the league.
“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,” MLP founder Steve Kuhn said in a statement. “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.”
MLP's 2022 finale is set to take place in Columbus, Ohio, from October 14-16 with 48 players competing for the largest single-event prize purse ($319,000) in the history of pickleball, with the winning team taking home $100,000. As a part of the event, students from the LeBron James Family Foundation’s I PROMISE Program in Akron will be able to learn and experience the sport while attending the tournament.
“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. “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.”