Being a celebrity has countless perks that a normal person couldn’t possibly comprehend. Besides the money and fame, and recognition basically everywhere you go, you also get to hang out with some of the best athletes in the world. Celebrities in the NBA have been well documented where the players are in awe of them.
When we see all these celebrities at basketball games, it reminds us that they’re just people too. Drake is just a guy that grew up in Toronto, Ice Cube is just a diehard Lakers and Raiders fan. As we count down the top 10 celebrities fans of NBA teams, we’re looking to avoid the generic celebrities or the non-diehards. This means we can eliminate celebrities such as Justin Bieber or Kevin Hart who hold no strong loyalties to any teams.
10. Gabrielle Union – Miami Heat
Dating an NBA superstar makes you an obvious candidate for this list. After dating Dwyane Wade for four years, Gabrielle Union has made her claim into the NBA world. The actress attends most Miami Heat games, that was even during the pre-LeBron and post-Shaq era. She’s put in enough hours to be considered one of the top celebrities in the NBA.
After all this time, it has landed her not only a boyfriend in the NBA, but a fiance. They’ve become the prototypical happy couple for people to follow in the NBA. Guess I would too if I were living in Miami with one of the biggest superstars in the league.
9. Chris Rock – New York Knicks
Being raised in New York, people generally gravitate towards one of their sports team. If not the Yankees, then the Mets. If not the Giants, then the Jets. If not the Knicks, then don’t consider yourself a true New Yorker. And that’s the team Chris Rock has put his dedication into.
This comedian/actor has done movies with the best and continues to show his fame at Madison Square Garden as well. Rock can be seen at almost every home game sitting with his kids or with one of the many celebrities that attend games at the MSG. When fans are able to watch games against the Milwaukee Bucks, it’s safe to say they’re dedicated.
8. Ice Cube – LA Lakers
Cube has been known as a diehard Lakers fan since the original days of the NWA. During those days, he wore the Raiders black and silver a lot, but the purple and gold has always been at heart. As a rapper turned actor, Ice Cube is always at the All-Star weekend festivities and always supporting his Lakers.
As he makes appearances across LA constantly wearing Lakers memorabilia, Ice Cube doesn’t make it subtle which LA team he follows. If this isn’t enough to show his dedication, Ice Cube created a song after Dwight Howard left the Lakers proclaiming that Howard didn’t have what it takes to be a Laker.
7. Woody Allen – New York Knicks
Woody Allen is a classic figure at Knicks games. He’s as known at Knicks games as the orange and blue are known. His character does not make him stand in the spotlight as celebrities like Chris Rock, nor do his clothes make him as obvious as Spike Lee. Nonetheless, there’s no way to doubt the man’s love for the team.
To summarize how much he cares, he’s been quoted as saying, “People will say to me, does it really matter if the Knicks beat the Celtics? And I think to myself, Well, it’s just as important as human existence.”
6. Denzel Washington – LA Lakers
It seems to be a recurring theme that the big time celebrities just love watching games in LA and New York, what should come as no surprise. And Denzel Washington is no different. Denzel is not the kind of guy who walks around in outfits dedicated to the Lakers like Ice Cube, but don’t let his appearance fool you, he’s as dedicated as any other fan.
Denzel sits in Staples Center and wears the typical Yankees hat. And no one defies him because they understand his dedication goes beyond the mere image that he portrays. In classic Los Angeles manner, Denzel is laid back and relaxes while watching Lakers games.
5. Drake – Toronto Raptors
The Global Ambassador of the Raptors makes it on to the list due to his “contribution” to the team. Growing up in the Canadian hip hop scene, before moving to the States permanently, Drake was a diehard Raptors fans. This is when Tracy McGrady, Alvin Williams, and Vince Carter blessed the hardwood in Toronto.
Now, Drake can be seen (much richer) supporting the Raptors from his courtside seats. After supporting Terrence Ross in back-to-back dunk contests, Drake has solidified himself as a central piece in the Canadian basketball community.
4. Jay-Z – Brooklyn Nets
Jay-Z is one of the most known rappers in the world. When you combine his Rocawear clothing brand, Roc-a-Fella Records and relationships with major names in the hip hop industry, Jay-Z continued that trend when he became a partial owner of the New Jersey Nets.
He was among the owners to push the New Jersey franchise to Brooklyn, and gave the organization a brand new look. The dedication is obvious when the celebrity figure is so rich that he can buy into the team, and encourage the team to move to another city. Add his beautiful wife Beyoncé to the formula, and there’s no doubt that Jay-Z is one of the most influential celebrities associated with the NBA.
3. Billy Crystal – LA Clippers
There’s no doubt that Billy Crystal was one of the few fans of the Clippers that stuck around for as long as he did. Why did Crystal pick the Clippers over the Lakers? The answer is simple: the underdog effect. Crystal has stated on multiple occasions that he went from being a Lakers fan to a Clippers fan because of the heart of the team and the sheer will to win even though they didn’t get praised.
Now, Billy looks like a genius as the Lakers struggle and are among the worst teams in the league. And where are the Clippers? Sitting at the top of their division with two of the best players in the league on their team. I’d say Billy is pretty happy with how the Clippers are doing.
2. Spike Lee – New York Knicks
How can anyone forget the guy who wears a Knicks jersey, hat, or jacket to every game at MSG. Thick framed glasses and all, Spike Lee represents the Knicks as if he drafted the whole team by himself. Lee was one of the primary producers for the Air Jordan brand commercials, appearing as Mars Blackmon.
Although many know Spike Lee for arguing with Reggie Miller during games at MSG, Spike is well known otherwise throughout the basketball community. Few can forget the epic movie He Got Game where he directed Denzel Washington and Ray Allen as a conflicting father-son pairing. Standing at 5’5, Spike Lee embraces the Knicks as if they were his very own.
1. Jack Nicholson – LA Lakers
Was there any doubt that Jack would be at the top of the list? Nicholson sits courtside at Lakers games, no matter how their season is going. Although he isn’t dressed up like Spike Lee, his loyalty to the team cannot be questioned.
Jack is the kind of fan who screams at refs for bad calls (so he thinks), talks trash with opposing players and still shows up when the team is well below subpar. His loyalty spans so far that while filming the film The Departed, it was rumored that Jack banned all Boston Celtics apparel from the set. This is power and this is what loyal fans do for their teams (if they had Jack’s money and power).