It was power lunch hour in midtown Manhattan and Central Park’s new pickleball courts had filled up with the type of sporty executives who once preferred to talk business over 18 holes of golf. I’d gone to paddle around with Samin Odhwani, an investor at NBA star Kevin Durant’s 35 Ventures, and hear about one of the firm’s latest investments: the Brooklyn Aces, a Major League Pickleball team. We’d planned on playing singles but shifted to doubles when Odhwani spotted a fellow team owner a few courts away: Al Tylis, former CEO of NorthStar Asset Management, who’s become an active sports investor.
“Al’s always here,” Odhwani shrugged as the other man strolled over.
“I only live a few blocks away,” explained Tylis, co-owner of Washington’s less imaginatively named MLP club, the D.C. Pickleball Team.