Carmelo Anthony Is Backing a Sports Bar Empire

Will the pizza-and-beer chain deliver nothing but net ... growth?

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99869732

SALT LAKE CITY, UT - APRIL 21: Carmelo Anthony #7 of the Oklahoma City Thunder reacts to his basket in the first half during Game Three of Round One of the 2018 NBA Playoffs against the Utah Jazz at Vivint Smart Home Arena on April 21, 2018 in Salt Lake City, Utah. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. (Photo by Gene Sweeney Jr./Getty Images)

Photo by: Gene Sweeney Jr.

Gene Sweeney Jr.

A new batch of side-by-side sports bars and pizza restaurants formed from a partnership between Bronx, NY-based Nobody’s Pizza and pub chain The Ainsworth may be coming soon to a sports-stadium-adjacent area near you – and there’s somebody big behind the new endeavor: Carmelo Anthony.

The NBA star has teamed up with "multiple hospitality platform" Somerset Hospitality Group to sink $5 million in the new sports-bar-and-pizza-joint’s nationwide rollout, the New York Post reports.

The first of an anticipated 20 to 30 chain locations, all near sports stadiums, slated to open over the next seven years will likely be in Nashville, where The Ainsworth (aka home of the 24-karat chicken wings) is already planning a new locale.

"I am excited about the prospects of partnering with The Ainsworth and Nobody’s Pizza — combining food, entertainment, sports and real estate," Anthony told the tabloid in a statement.

Somerset honcho Keith Rubenstein is definitely planning a full-court press. A mega 7,500-square-foot location of The Ainsworth, about two-thirds of it a multi-level outdoor space with several bars and potentially even a pool, is set to open in a warehouse-turned-food-hall in the South Bronx.

"We plan to ... use our investor base of professional athletes and influencers to promote operations and growth," Rubenstein said.

Whether it plays out as a slam dunk or an air ball remains to be seen.

Photo: Gene Sweeney Jr. / Stringer, Getty Images

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