Top NBA Stars Who Are Avid Gunners

By on March 10, 2021

There was a time when few American sports stars would have cared much about the ins and outs of European football, with most too engrossed in their own domestic sports leagues.

However, with the dawning of the internet age and the globalisation of the sports industry as a whole, there is now a healthy back and forth between sports stars who wow crowds on both sides of the Atlantic.

In this article we take a look at those NBA players who have found an English footballing home at the Emirates, or Highbury if they are longer serving fans.

Many were drawn to Arsenal by the flashy football the team played under Arsene Wenger as well as by crossover stars like Thierry Henry, something current manager Mikel Arteta will be hoping to emulate, as long as he does not jump ship to Barcelona in the summer.

Of course, there is also the small matter of club owner Stan Kroenke finding innovative ways to garner synergies from his main sports business in the UK and those sports franchises he owns stateside such as the LA Rams, the Denver Nuggets, and the Colorado Avalanche to name but a few.

When these NBA players step off the court, they are always interested to know how their beloved Gunners have fared in a vital league or cup game

Carmelo Anthony

Anthony used to be one of the NBA’s premier stars but is now on something of a downwards trajectory towards retirement. Long before that trajectory began, he was flying his Gunners colours high and proud, having mentioned in multiple interviews that the men in red and white are his preferred Premier League team.

The Portland Trailblazer’s interest in the beautiful game does not stop with Arsenal, though, as he also owns his very own football team in Puerto Rico, who are inventively named Puerto Rico FC.

Plenty of NBA players and fans were quick to wrap themselves in Arsenal colours, especially during the reign of The Invincibles

Giannis Antetokounmpo

The man known affectionately as the Greek Freak was in stellar form at the recent NBA All Star game, delivering for those betting punters who fancied Team Lebron to steamroll Team Durant. What is great for Gunners fans to know is that the Milwaukee Buck has always been an Arsenal follower, originally drawn to the club by the incredible performances of Thierry Henry.

Now it is probably Henry who is the one doing all the admiring, as Giannis tops the online NBA betting odds yet again, as the front runner to retain his coveted MVP title. Few fans will be wagering against him, and maybe the Gunners should invite him to the Emirates to formalize the bond the NBA superstar shares with the North London club.

James Harden

James Harden has one of the greatest beards in all of world sport, and so when he came with it to England there were probably Premier League clubs clambering over one another trying to get Harden wearing their jersey.

In the end, though, it was the mighty Gunners who won out, giving the NBA megastar a VIP tour of the Emirates and even inviting him to undertake a basketball themed crossbar challenge, which he duly knocked out the park.

Harden showed his shooting prowess by hitting the Emirates crossbar from way back in the North London bleachers

Josh Richardson

Most of the names on this list are the crème de la crème of the NBA, but there are lesser-known players who also have plenty of love for Arsenal. One of them is Dallas Mavericks player Josh Richardson, who turned heads in an NBA post-match interview in which he loudly and proudly celebrated an Arsenal victory over London rivals Chelsea.

This just goes to show, that as sports like basketball and football become evermore global in their reach, pro players from both sports may find themselves getting more wrapped up in the drama of a foreign league than they thought they would.