Brooklyn Nets superstar Kevin Durant is teaming up with Los Angeles Laker, LeBron James, and Golden State Warrior, Draymond Green!
No, not as teammates.
Durant is the latest NBA player to invest in Major League Pickleball.
Along with his Thirty Five Ventures (35V) partner, Rich Kleiman, Durant, according to Major League Pickleball (MLP) , invested in the league by purchasing an expansion team. The team will be participating in the 2023 season.
“35V is committed to investing in the future of sports and emerging opportunities and Major League Pickleball is a league we are incredibly excited about,” said Kleiman in a written statement. “We can’t wait to build this team from the ground up as well as work to elevate the sport and the league to unprecedented heights. As an avid pickleball player and fan, the interest in the sport was a natural fit.”
Pickleball combines various elements of tennis, badminton, and ping-pong and is played indoors or outdoors on a badminton-sized court with a slightly modified tennis net.
“Kevin Durant, Rich Kleiman, and 35V are going to be game-changing partners for Major League Pickleball,” said MLP Founder and CEO Steve Kuhn. “They not only bring passion for the game, but also unrivaled expertise to help us to continue to grow. We’re especially excited about their plans to bring pickleball to underserved communities – something they have done with basketball for years.”
Last month, future Hall of Famer, James, connected with two other NBA champions, Green and Cleveland Cavaliers forward Kevin Love, in a new ownership group when they joined Major League Pickleball.
Major League Pickleball has 16 teams in the United States. In 2023, there will be six tournaments across six cities for more than $2 million in prizes.
Durant and Kleiman have invested in several sports properties this year.
35V made an investment in the Premier Lacrosse League (PLL), which was reported earlier this year. Back in May, N.J./N.Y. Gotham FC of the National Women’s Soccer League (NWSL) announced that Durant’s company had become a minority investor in the team.