LeBron James is buying a Major League Pickleball team

Los Angeles Lakers' LeBron James is seen during the second half of an NBA basketball game...
Los Angeles Lakers' LeBron James is seen during the second half of an NBA basketball game against the Washington Wizards, Saturday, March 19, 2022, in Washington. (AP Photo/Luis M. Alvarez)(Luis M. Alvarez | AP)
Published: Oct. 6, 2022 at 11:13 AM EDT
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(NBC) - Major League Pickleball announced Lebron James is among its latest group of investors.

Los Angeles Lakers superstar LeBron James, Warriors star forward Draymond Green and five-time All-Star Kevin Love are investing in Major League Pickleball, the league announced.

With new funding, MLP will be expanding from 12 to 16 teams in 2023, playing in six cities nationwide.

As pickleball continues to be one of the fastest-growing sports in the United States, the group purchased an expansion team that is coming to the league next season.

Maverick Carter, James’ longtime friend and business partner, shared that the group’s overall interest in the sport came from playing it together over the past couple of years.

“When I started playing pickleball, I immediately connected with the sport’s community and its capacity to be both fun and competitive,” Carter told CNBC in an interview. “To see the sport growing in communities all over is really exciting, and we’re looking forward to bringing our expertise together to try and build a championship team.”

Anne Worcester, MLP’s strategic advisor, explained that the demand for owning a pickleball team is increasing with more than 60 different groups showing interest. So much so, that MLP team values have skyrocketed since the league launched in 2021, estimated in the seven-figure range now.

The name of the team, where it will play and other specific details weren’t immediately available.

Pickleball is often described as the perfect blend of tennis, ping-pong and badminton. It’s a fast-paced sport based on quick hands and reflexes but is also strategic.