NEW YORK (WABC) --The Puerto Rican Day Parade is fast approaching and this Sunday thousands will line the streets showing their Puerto Rican pride.
In the center of it all is parade king Carmelo Anthony of the New York Knicks.
Carmelo is a New York City native whose father is Puerto Rican.
He's shaken hands with plenty of fellow athletes over the years, but this is different.
Carmelo Anthony has his own team, a soccer team, and the players are his employees.
"I've always liked soccer, you know me, I always like doing things non-traditional, I like doing things outside of the box," said Carmelo Anthony, the Puerto Rican Day Parade King.
Last year Carmelo purchased Puerto Rico Football Club, an expansion team in the North American Soccer League.
PRFC is in the midst of its preseason, and this workout in the city was a chance for players like Staten Island-born Sidney Rivera to meet the boss.
"Having him as an owner is really amazing, I look up to him, I look up to guys of that stature, it's just really cool," Rivera said.
Carmelo says he had been exploring various ownership opportunities, but when the chance to have a team based in Puerto Rico, it was a match made in heaven.
"There was a deep need for a soccer team, even though baseball is the number one sport down there, I just wanted to bring something different to the island," Anthony said.
Carmelo's father was born on the island and in recent years 'Melo has increasingly embraced his Puerto Rican roots.
His foundation has refurbished basketball courts in various barrios. He calls being named king of this year's Puerto Rican Day Parade an honor and a blessing.
"We are a group, we are one, this is a collective effort, in the midst of the crisis that's going on back there on the island, we still find a way to be joyful, to be passionate, and show our pride in many ways," Anthony said.
Spoken like a part basketball star, part team owner, part philanthropist and proud Boricua.
You can watch the Puerto Rican Day Parade Sunday on Channel 7, beginning at noon.
It will also be streamed live at ABC7NY.