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3 NBA Players that Should Trade Their High-Tops for Paddles

Pickleball…it’s mainstream.

We’ve got pro tennis players leaving the tennis tour for the pickleball scene as pots sweeten.

And we’ve got Lebron making headlines by taking his dollars to Major League Pickleball.

The logical next step, obviously, is for NBA players to leave the hardwood in order to put their toes on the kitchen line.

But who is the right fit? Anyone that seen the footage of Kevin Durant or John Isner on the pickleball court can tell you that it’s no advantage to be 6’10 in pickleball despite all the extra balls they might take out of the air.

But the NBA has the greatest long athletes in the world. Who might dethrone Ben Johns as the GOAT if they gave up the grind of an 82 game season for the sunny weekends on the PPA (or APP)?

Here are 3 players that ought to consider it:

  • CJ McCollum: Though the world’s greatest athletes aren’t (yet) drawn to pickleball, there’s probably some reasoning why the current batch of pickleball pros top out somewhere near 6’3. And given the wisecracks about pickleball being an old-person’s sport, who better to start with than an old player that’s 6’3? But even more important- given that we see pro players have to jump on the mic and write the occasional blog post, McCollum is the perfect fit as someone that’s more than dabbled in journalism and broadcasting dating back to his college days at Lehigh.
  • Zion Williamson: What, CJ McCollum wasn’t a sexy enough name for you? Well, how about his teammate Zion? Zion’s been a household name since he blew up in HS with gravity-defying dunks that made the rounds on social media. He’s already cashed in with an enormous endorsement deal with Nike, too. And while he’d be the tallest pickleball player on tour (that I can find, anyway), he’s got more than enough athleticism to make up for it. We’ve already seen the left-handed Tyler Loong Erne seemingly everything in sight, but that’d be nothing given the reach, length, and explosive leaping ability of Zion. And his health woes would be eased when he could pick and choose his tournaments to play throughout the year.
  • Klay Thompson: Who else? If he’s not the most interesting man in the world, he’s 2nd…or 3rd if you want to give the nod to Dusty Baker. Still, who would be more fun to have on tour each week than Klay? Interviews, shenanigans, pets- you name it. Maybe he’s so tall that his height would work to his disadvantage, but it’d be worth it.

So who will be first? It’s got to be tempting giving up those Monday night back-to-backs in Milwaukee and Minnesota in January for the 10 AM slot on a sleeping Friday morning in Palm Springs.

Until next time…

DTN

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