Ahead of the NBA Global Games London at the O2 next Thursday between the Denver Nuggets and Indiana Pacers, British NBA star Luol Deng spoke of his excitement at basketball coming to London for another regular season game. In addition he also revealed his love for football, his avid support of Arsenal and his desire to one day buy Crystal Palace football club.
Luol Deng (L)
Despite being raised as an Arsenal fan, LA Lakers star Deng revealed a soft-spot for the Gunners' London rivals, who he has been following avidly from the States:
“We just played Crystal Palace where Giroud scored that amazing scorpion-kick goal, but this is where it’s tough because I grew up three minutes from the Crystal Palace stadium and when I was young on match day there was a hill where we could watch the Palace through a gap in the stadium...
...Since then I’ve been a huge Crystal Palace fan – Arsenal’s my number one team, Crystal Palace is my second! I’m hoping they can stay up – I’ve always said that if I become a billionaire I’m buying Crystal Palace – it’s a dream of mine!”
Luol Deng whilst playing for Miami Heat
As well as talking Crystal Palace, small forward Deng revealed which Arsenal players have caught his eye this season:
“Right now, Sanchez is having an amazing season. Ozil has always been my favourite player because he’s such an unselfish player. A lot of the time people want him to be more selfish, but I would love to play with someone like that. He’s so unselfish, but to a point where it shows how good he is. For Arsenal I think Ozil’s my guy, but I love Sanchez!”
Arsenal's Alexis Sanchez
Over the past couple of years, Crystal Palace have had a number of interesting characters in the boardroom, but the idea of the addition of a world Basketball ball star must have Eagles fans scratching their heads.
The 31-year-old switched to LA from Miami Heat last year, and is a two-time NBA All-Star
Despite not being connected to the world of football, perhaps Deng could one day bring a bit of the American glitz and glam so often surrounding US Sport to the South London club? It's certainly one to watch out for, that's for sure!
The Denver Nuggets host the Indiana Pacers at The O2 in London on Jan. 12 as part of NBA Global Games London 2017. The game is live on BT Sport or via NBA LEAGUE PASS (www.nba.tv).
General view of Selhurst Park