Sports Illustrated executive editor and senior writer Jon Wertheim answers readers' questions weekly and he had a lot to say about pickleball this week! You can read his column but here are some excerpts to save you time:
A media rule passed through committee, while no one was looking: no print publication worth its masthead can get out of the summer without an examination of the pickleball craze. Here’s the New Yorker last week. And Sports Illustrated before that. And the NYT. Tennis Magazine, to the horror of many of you, put pickleball on its recent cover.
I see no existential threat to tennis here. I see far more complement than competition. ... Instead of looking at pickleball as “stealing” [tennis] players, why not look at pickleball as a way to build racket sport practitioners (and consumers). “All these people are listening to podcasts!” The USTA, in particular, should look at itself as Spotify; not as morning radio losing market share.
I’d submit that racket sports—tennis, pickleball, padel, squash—ought to join forces to take down golf. Or better yet Activision Blizzard. We can divvy up court space later.