Pickleball is a sport that is exploding in popularity even if many spellchecks do not recognize yet the sport's legitimacy. Despite that, pickleball is an unstoppable force right now, having supplanted NFTs and cryptocurrency as the thing that famous people are now pouring money into.
Last week LeBron James, Draymond Green and Kevin Love purchased a pickleball team last week and now Tom Brady and Kim Clijsters have purchased a Major League Pickleball expansion team. The sport has obviously been identified as the next... something.
According to USA Pickleball, it is the fasted-growing sport in America for the second straight year. Just a couple weeks ago there was a trend piece in TIME about how pickleball courts were becoming popular on Airbnb. Earlier this year pickleball was named the official sport of the state of Washington.
A Wimbledon Junior champion recently left tennis for pickleball. Here's a story about a couple who met playing pickleball and had a p-ball themed wedding. Before 2021 Tampa had nine pickleball courts. The city just announced a plan to have 49 by the end of 2023. Next month CBS will televise a celebrity pickleball tournament.
It seems like... a bit much. But we love to do this, don't we folks? Remember NFTs? Remember hard seltzer? Remember Pokemon Go? Beanie Babies? Pogs? Going to the movie theater? The XFL? The rebooted XFL?
In a world where we laugh at the ratings of the NBA and wonder why baseball is a dying sport, what are the odds that a pickleball league is a longterm profitable venture for anyone? Will it bump cornhole off ESPN2?
I have a lot of questions about the rising popularity and sustainability of pickleball and I think we all know the answers.