10 stars and the NBA teams they support
A lot of celebrities are big sports fans and quite a few of them are into basketball. Since basketball courts are relatively smaller than football fields, celebrities at these games are far more noticeable. The presence of star names invigorates thousands of fans in the arena and that support urges the players to do better.
Over the years, some celebrities have become such big fans that their names have become synonymous with that of their favorite franchises. They take time out of their busy schedules and turn up for games on a regular basis to make their presence felt.
Will Smith – Philadelphia 76ers
Everybody knows Will Smith, the Oscar nominee who has not only worked in some great movies but has also got his hands on a few Grammys as a musician. Smith is also a Philadelphia 76ers supporter and a diehard one at that.
Growing up on the streets of Philadelphia, Smith became a 76ers fan and in 2011 bought a stake in the franchise. Incurring huge losses over the last few seasons, the 76ers were sold to new investors one of which was Smith.
His love for the team is such that he religiously hates the Boston Celtics, the age old rivals of the 76ers. “This is absolutely ridiculous, to be here with Coach, to be an owner of my hometown team and to be sitting on the floor when we beat Boston. Larry Bird ruined my childhood, so this is fantastic.” Will Smith when the 76ers beat the Celtics earlier in 2014 and that says it all really.
Usher – Cleveland Cavaliers
The Cleveland Cavaliers were one of the most underperforming sides in the league before they drafted LeBron James straight out of high school in 2003. His arrival marked the start of a new era for the franchise. It also meant that James and the Cavs were rising in popularity and fame. And Usher, the multiple Grammy Award winning singer and song writer, also became an avid fan. Usher started coming to every game and cheering his team more loudly than anybody else.
When the opportunity to buy a stake in the Cavs arose, Usher didn’t let it pass by and invested in the team he supported. He bought a small percentage in the franchise and has given them unwavering support since. In 2010 he bet famous talk show host George Lopez that he would put a Lakers’ jersey on his wax figure at the Madame Tussauds if the Cavs failed to go further than the team from Los Angeles in the playoffs. Unfortunately he lost, but this is how it goes in sports, you win some, you lose some.
Nelly – Charlotte Hornets
Nelly has been an avid sports fan ever since he was a kid growing up in St. Louis. Even before he became a famous rap star and a multiple Grammy winning artist, he would not miss out on football and basketball games in his state. He now supports the Charlotte Hornets and watches them play live pretty frequently.
Keeping up with the tradition of celebrities buying in to their favorite franchises, Nelly also became a part owner of the Hornets along with the legendary basketball player Michael Jordon. Now he is seen vocally cheering his team on from the sidelines almost every time they take to the court.
Drake – Toronto Raptors
Born and bred in Toronto, Drake has been always been a Raptors fan. A Toronto native supporting the city’s basketball team, now who saw that coming?
Drake attends a lot of Raptors games every season and is a very vocal fan encouraging other people in the arena to cheer loudly as well. In 2013 he was made the global ambassador for the franchise. His role includes rebranding their image, consultation on the team’s jerseys as well as making the Raptors world famous using his status as a renowned celebrity.
Woody Allen – New York Knicks
Perhaps one of the most surprising of all basketball fans is Woody Allen. The multiple Oscar winning director and writer has been a Knicks fan for a very long time. Not known to be very vocal or drawing too much attention to himself, Woody is fine with quietly cheering on his team while wearing his traditional Knicks cap.
While he has always epitomized what being a New Yorker is all about, his support for the Knicks is another testament to that. He keeps a low profile at games but is a very big Knicks fan. This is what he said in an interview once “People will say to me, does it really matter if the Knicks beat the Boston Celtics? And I think to myself, well, it’s just as important as human existence.” Like it or not but we think Mr. Allen deserves a lot of credit for being such a huge supporter.
Gabrielle Union – Miami Heat
The only woman on our list, Gabrielle Union, is a part of it because of her unwavering support for the Miami Heat. She is no glory hunter as Union has been a Heat fan well before the days of Lebron James and Chris Bosch.
It is her obsession with the Heats that played a big part in her getting married as well. She met and later married Heats’ superstar Dwayne Wade. Needless to say, that has taken her love for the franchise up a notch or two. Union is among the most vocal fans at the courtside and once commented that “I get really vocal. But if I don’t get rowdy, Lebron will look over like ‘Where ya at?’.”
LeBron isn’t a Heat player anymore but that isn’t going to stop one of the team’s biggest fans from turning up and rooting for the team like she always has.
Jay Z – Brooklyn Nets
As far as basketball fans go, there might be very few as high profile as Jay-Z. One of the first rappers to buy a stake in his favorite side, Jay-Z has also been instrumental in changing the fortunes of the Brooklyn Nets since taking over. The nineteen times Grammy winner decided to invest in the Nets when they were located in New Jersey and played a big part in the team’s decision to move to Brooklyn in 2012.
Since the relocation, Jay Z has performed numerous concerts in order to market the Nets to a larger audience and is seen motivating his team on more than just a few occasions. With his wife Beyonce by his side, they are one of the most powerful couples not only in the music industry, but also in sports.
In 2013 he sold his ownership stake in the franchise stating “My job as an owner is over but as a fan it has just begun. I’m a Brooklyn Net forever.” The journey of true a fan never ends.
Billy Crystal – Los Angeles Clippers
Billy Crystal has been one of the most famous comedians in the film industry for quite a long time now and has worked with some of the best in the business. He has made numerous memorable movies and has hosted the Oscars nine times. He is also one of the biggest Clippers fans you will get to meet.
Living in Hollywood, most celebrities pick the other team located in Los Angeles, the Lakers. While the list of prominent Lakers fans is quite impressive, the Clippers have had a very dedicated following too and no one has been more dedicated than Billy Crystal.
The Clippers haven’t really set the court on fire but that hasn’t stopped Crystal from supporting his favorite franchise with absolute gusto. He turns up for quite a few games every year and can be seen court side rooting for the Clippers. It takes a lot out of you if you are a fan of a struggling team so Crystal deserves a lot of credit for standing by his team when the going got tough.
Spike Lee – New York Knicks
The Knicks have gone through many ups and downs over the years and Spike Lee has been through it all. Lee is a director, producer and writer who has won countless awards over the years for his efforts in the entertainment industry. He is, however, also famous for being one of the biggest New York Knicks fans in the world.
Lee has been supporting Knicks for over twenty years. His love for the franchise has made his name synonymous with theirs and he has allegedly never missed watching more than one game in a row. He has also written in great detail about the love he has for the team in his autobiography. It is titled ‘Best Seat in the House’ and the cover features Lee wearing a New York Knicks jersey.
Jack Nicholson – Los Angeles Lakers
When celebrity sports fans in the country are discussed in general, the names of the Los Angeles Lakers and Jack Nicholson always pop up. Nicholson is one of the most revered actors of all time and a cinematic genius. He is also one of the biggest Lakers fans in history who has bought season tickets for over thirty years now. His seat is always the same as well, making sure he is always close to the opposition bench if he needs to rile up someone. Typical Nicholson.
Nicholson is famous for numerous bust ups with officials at Lakers games and has been involved in altercations with players from the opposing side. It has also been rumored that quite a few filmmakers had to schedule their shoots around the Lakers’ games, something that Jack has denied repeatedly. Former coach for the Lakers, Pat Riley once said this about him “He’s simply a fanatic and has been ever since I started my career with the Lakers in 1970. He’s a real fan. He’s not one of these actors that all of a sudden get front row seats and then they’re gone. He’s for real. He cares.” It just wouldn’t be Nicholson if it were any other way.
So there you have it. These are some of the most fanatical basketball celebrities. Even after all the fame and fortune none of them forgot to take time out for the sport and the team that they love. Let’s now hear what you have to say about this. Feel free to comment.