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"Pickleball is the new bingo"- Reilly Opelka reacts to NBA star Dirk Nowitzki showcasing his racquet sport skills

Reilly Opelka and NBA star Dirk Nowitzki
Reilly Opelka and NBA star Dirk Nowitzki

Reilly Opelka has reacted to NBA star Dirk Nowitzki participating in a Pickleball game and showcasing his racquet skills.

Pickleball, a game played on outdoor courts the size of badminton that mixes elements of tennis, badminton, and ping-pong, has recently gained a lot of popularity.

In an exhibition match on Thursday, Jordan Spieth and Scottie Scheffler of the Professional Golfers' Association faced off against retired NBA legend Dirk Nowitzki and tennis veteran John Isner. The two teams had several close rallies during Thursday night's game, especially Nowitzki, who dazzled the spectators with his racquet skills.

In light of this, American big hitter Reilly Opelka tweeted his thoughts on the topic and said:

"Pickleball is the new bingo."
Pickleball is the new bingo twitter.com/BleacherReport…

"I’ve come to hate tradition and, obviously, tennis is all tradition" - Reilly Opelka

Reilly Opelka pictured at the 2021 French Open.
Reilly Opelka pictured at the 2021 French Open.

During his first appearance at Paris Fashion Week, Reilly Opelka discussed how he has "come to hate tradition" in an interview with GQ.

The American was referring to a situation from the 2021 US Open in which he brought a bag onto the court rather than the handbag that was usually provided by his racquet sponsor. The World No. 24 received a US $10,000 fine from the tournament's organizers, the highest sanction handed at a tournament so far, because the surprising selection featured a company logo that was larger than what was allowed.

Opelka said:

"I’ve come to hate tradition. And, obviously, tennis is all tradition. Look at Wimbledon—that’s what it is. And it’s not for me. The more I’ve gotten into fashion and art, the more I’ve come to despise some things about tennis."

He further mentioned that players' identical kits during competitions strip them of their individuality.

"The kits themselves, they’re all the same colors, they’re all so similar. Every brand does their photoshoots at Indian Wells, so the vibe is the exact same. There’s nothing unique about it anymore, and it’s sad," he said.

When asked why tennis does not use its "tunnel walks into mini fashion shows" the way the NBA does, Opelka responded that the game's "business structure" fosters a "conservative culture," which makes people afraid to stand out.

"We’re a solo sport. Anything goes wrong with us, there’s a direct effect. So I think the way the business structure of tennis is set up breeds a sort of conservative culture, where everyone’s so scared to be different," he stated.

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Edited by Anirudh
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