LeBron James's asset portfolio just keeps expanding! Kirk Goldsberry of ESPN reports that LRMR Ventures, LeBron James and Maverick Carter's company, is set to purchase majority ownership of an expansion team in Major League Pickleball. This year, MLP is growing from a 12-team league to a 16-team league. James and Carter are getting in on the ground floor with one of the four expansion teams.
This pick-up doesn't even reflect LBJ's first investment in another sport beyond basketball this year. An ownership group that includes James and rapper Drake now possesses a stake in Italian soccer club A.C. Milan.
Goldsberry reports that the 18-time All-Star will be joined in his ownership group by LeBron's SpringHill Company CMO Paul Rivera, Relevent Sports Group co-owner and CEO Daniel Sillman, investment firm SC Holdings, and two other multi-time All-Star contemporaries of James. Power forward/center Kevin Love, a four-year LeBron James teammate with the Cleveland Cavaliers, and Golden State Warriors forward Draymond Green, who battled James and Love in four consecutive NBA Finals bouts, are also involved in the ownership group for the expansion MLP club.
"This investment and the platform that this group provides will significantly help us with our goal to reach 40 million pickleball players by 2030," league founder Steve Kuhn said.
"LeBron is a smart guy, as evidenced by his many successful investments," MLP club BLQK co-owner Ritchie Tuazon reflected in an exclusive statement to All Lakers. "I think his belief in pickleball is well founded. It’s the fastest growing sport in America and I don’t see that changing anytime soon!”
BLQK has enjoyed a successful tenure in MLP thus far: