Los Angeles Lakers small forward Luol Deng has said that he dreams of buying Premier League side Crystal Palace one day.
Deng, born in Sudan, moved to England as a child, with his family having to flee their homeland because of war. Settling in Brixton, South London, he learned to play basketball, and later migrated to the United States.
The former Chicago Bulls and Miami Heat star has been an Arsenal fan for most of his life, but also supports Palace, claiming that they are his second favourite team.
"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," said the 31-year-old, speaking ahead of an NBA Global Series match between the
"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."
Joshua Harris and David Blitzer, leaders of an American consortium, bought an 18 per cent stake in the club last January, but Deng hopes to purchase the club one day.
"I’ve always said that if I become a billionaire I’m buying Crystal Palace," he continued. "It’s a dream of mine!”
Deng is also hoping that Arsenal can secure the services of Alexis Sanchez and Mesut Ozil, as the pair are his favourite Premier League players.
“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!"
Deng is looking forward to England taking basketball more seriously, and says that he's always excited when the games come to London. No way is it surpassing football anywhere in Europe, though.
“I’m always excited when it [NBA Global Games London] happens – there’s always hope that the UK will start taking basketball more seriously. The NBA is serious about it and wants to bring awareness and let the fans be a part of it."