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Real Madrid manager Zinedine Zidane says interest of NBA stars in soccer is ‘fantastic’

Real Madrid manager Zinedine Zidane said during a press conference that he is encouraged by the increasing interest of NBA stars in soccer. He joked that while he might not be familiar to these stars, the players on Real Madrid probably are.

Zidane is right that we see interest in soccer from NBA stars now more than ever. In fact, several NBA players are actually investing in soccer teams.

Los Angeles Lakers star LeBron James is not only a supporter of Liverpool F.C. but has invested $6.5 million in the club. As a part-owner, James celebrated widely on his Instagram story a few months ago when Liverpool won the UEFA Champions League over Tottenham Hotspur F.C.

Most recently, Houston Rockets franchise player James Harden invested in his local team, the Houston Dynamo. Harden spoke on the increase in popularity of the MLS and soccer in America:

“Soccer in general, and especially MLS, has exploded in this country throughout my lifetime,” Harden said, per Pro Soccer USA. “I’ve been a fan of the game for several years, and I know that Houston has a massive soccer fan base, so it was an easy decision for me when this opportunity arose.”

It’s good for both sports that we see increased interest in soccer. As basketball stars continue to become involved in soccer ventures, their name and brand grow, while basketball fans get exposed to a sport that they might have never seriously followed before.