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Tom Brady Buys Major League Pickleball Team

by The Dink Media Team on

ATP or Nah? Pickleball TV Show. MLP Updates. Celebrities Taking Over.

Serious question, how does a goat run a pickleball team? Get it? You can boo, our jokes aren't for everyone.

If you haven't heard the news, NFL GOAT Tom Brady is the newest investor in Major League Pickleball. He and his investment group, which includes tennis legend Kim Clijsters, will join the league as team owners.

Their team is the second of four franchises to be added to MLP in 2023. Lebron James and Co. were announced as the owners of the first expansion team.

Pickleball is best described as a hybrid sport. It's a combination of tennis, badminton and table tennis. Pickleball players are no different. Our backgrounds are a combination of just about every sport under the sun.

This week's news is a testament to that. Brady of the NFL joined James of the NBA as an MLP owner. Pro golfers Jordan Spieth and Scottie Scheffler entered the mix in yesterday's PPA celebrity pro-am and boxer Sugar Ray Leonard will star in an upcoming pickleball show (more on that below).

Pickleball is the ultimate crossover sport.


Around the Post Alternative

Once a guaranteed winner, an Around-the-Post has become increasingly routine as the game has evolved.

At the pro level, ATPs are successfully defended on a regular basis. If detected early enough, some defenders will use it as an opportunity for a cross-court winner.

And all of this development has given rise to an ATP alternative. Think about it: One defender drops back and hugs the sideline while the other shifts to cover the middle of the court.

And you know what that means: undefended real estate. Instead of sending it around the post, manifest-destiny that ball into the opposite side of the court.

"What just happened?" - your opponents.

The hard part is removing the ATP blinders. ATPs are tough to resist and there's no doubt that pulling one off successfully gets that dopamine pumping!

It's easier said than done. Everyone loves a juicy ATP, but we promise, a winner like this is equally as satisfying.

Stats: Food for Thought

Pro Pickleball Stats' Jim Ramsey is back with another breakdown from the PPA Vegas Championship. This time, he analyzed the gold medal match between Johns/Johns and Newman/Wright. Wright and Newman secured the victory in a tight fifth game.

Quick Takeaways:

  • 55% of firefights were won by the team who initiated the speedup
  • Wondering whether you should drop or drive your thirds? Pro stats suggest the drop is favored. Of their thirds, Ben Johns hit 77% drops, Collin Johns hit 71% drops, Newman hit 58% drops. Wright was the outlier, opting for a mere 22% drops
  • Are lobs a good idea? Wright thinks so. He hit 7. The rest of the guys, not so much. They combined for a total of 0.
  • Unforced errors on dinks: Johns - 9, Collin Johns - 0, Newman - 1, Wright - 3.

Johns' 9 unforced errors at the net is certainly uncharacteristic of him, and one could argue this was enough to tip the match in favor of Wright/Newman. Focus on the fun shots all you want, but the game always comes back to fundamentals and (the avoidance of) unforced errors.

Everything You Need For Pickleball Under One Roof

Rhino Pickleball has paddles, balls and portable nets perfect for players at all levels. It's the best selection of training aids to support player development. Up your game with court markers, cones and other fitness accessories that take drill work to the next level.

TB12 Tackles PB

Tom Brady is the newest sports GOAT to join the Major League Pickleball roster of owners.

The seven-time super bowl champ is part of an ownership group set to purchase one of the league's expansion teams for 2023. Brady shared his excitement on Instagram following the announcement.

Joining Brady is six-time tennis Grand Slam Champion Kim Clijsters. Clijsters showed off her skills alongside some of the pros as they prepared for this weekend's Colombus event.

The group is led by Knighthead Capital Management LLC and Knighthead's co-founder Tom Wagner. It also includes film producer Matt Alvarez, Wall Street bond saleswoman Callie Simpkins and team GM Kaitlyn Kerr.

It's definitely worth highlighting that the team will be 50% female-owned, which MLP pointed out is a "testament to the league's foundational mission of gender equality."

There is no team name selected at this point but the group will have to move quickly with the 2023 draft and new season starting in the next three months.

MSG to Broadcast Major League Pickleball

As you're reading this, Major League Pickleball Columbus is officially underway. Each team will play two matches today and their final group stage match tomorrow.

MLP Columbus will debut a new broadcast partner. Matches through the semifinal will be broadcasted both on the MLP YouTube and on the MSG Network in NY, NJ, CT, and PA. The finals will again be broadcasted on CBS Sports Sunday night.

Rob Nunnery and Adam Stone provide an in depth breakdown of the most recent episode of It Feels Right. Listen here or watch here for an inside look into pro pickleball.

Your Chance to Attend Nationals, On Us

We have teamed up with Selkirk to give one lucky member of the Dink Fam a trip to Nationals. See your favorite players in action at the state of the art Indian Wells Tennis Garden in Palm Springs, CA. Click here to find out more!

Celebrity Athlete Pro-Am

The Celebrity Showdown at the PPA Championship delivered the goods last night. The contest consisted of professional athletes from four different pro sports, all of which have boarded the pb train.

Yesterday's Crew: NBA Legend: Dirk Nowitzki. Professional Golfer: Jordan Spieth. Professional Golfer: Scottie Scheffler. Pro Tennis Player: John Isner. Former NFL QB: Tony Romo

The 6'10 Isner and 7'0 Nowitzki teamed up to create what is very likely the tallest pickleball team ever assembled. Nowitzki showed off a powerful drive while Scheffler showed that he's more than just a golfer, he's an all-around athlete. Spieth, though clearly the weakest link, showed that his soft hands apply to the pb court, too. He had some pretty impressive resets and cross-court dinks that drew some ooh's and ahh's.

But it was Isner who was crowned champion of the pro-am portion of the night. He teamed up with Jessie Irvine and Jay Devilliers for the win. The best part of the evening was that $50k was donated by Dick's Sporting Goods to the American Breast Cancer Foundation.

Tickets to attend the Round Up are still available or stream the event live.

Celebrity Pickleball Tournament Coming in November

CBS released the list of the celebrity contestants for their upcoming pickleball show, Pickled. The show will be hosted by Late Night Host Stephen Colbert and includes a wide range of celebrity participants.

The king of sports comedies, Will Ferrell is the headliner of the list. He is joined by Emma Watson, Max Greenfield and Sugar Ray Leonard who have all taken up the sport. Musicians Dierks Bentley, Kenny Loggins, Kelly Rowland and Jimmie Allen will also debut their skills.

In the broadcast booth will be Cari Champion, Bill Raftery and John Michael Higgins who is know for his announcer roles in the films Pitch Perfect and Best in Show.

Rounding out the contestant list is Murray Bartlett, Jaime Camil, Luis Guzman, Phil Keoghan, Daniel Dae Kim, Tig Notaro, June Diane Raphael, Aisha Tyler and Paul Scheer.

Tune into the two-hour primetime event on Nov 17 at 9pm ET.

Headlines & Quick Hits


Homecourt Havens

An epic pickleball compound up in Kingston, NY. This homecourt haven is best described as a sprawling manor. The only thing keeping this from being a 10/10 is the tiled court. Well done 👏.

The Dink Media Team

The Dink Media Team

We're the premier pickleball media outlet featuring news, tips, reviews, and highlights with over 1 million subscribers, followers, and listeners.

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