NBA fans around the world know the hype of buying tickets to sporting events to go catch ballers from their favorite teams up close. It turns out, though, some of our favorite celebrities share the feeling!
Atlanta Hawks: 2 Chainz
Grammy award-winning rapper 2 Chainz, a Georgia native, is a long-time fan of basketball. He attended Alabama State University, where he played on the basketball team from 1995 to 1997. Sure enough, his favorite NBA team is the Atlanta Hawks.
But that's not all. In 2019, 2 Chainz announced that he acquired a minority ownership stake in their NBA G League affiliate, the College Park Skyhawks. The rapper has performed countless halftime shows at Hawks games - and even has his own custom Atlanta jersey, which is sold on the team's webshop.
Boston Celtics: Mark Wahlberg
Anyone who's seen Mark Wahlberg's movies can tell he has a lot of love for his hometown of Boston. So many of his movies are either filmed in Boston or have the unique traits of the city written all over them. The actor also has a favorite NBA team, and it's not too surprising which one it is...
Wahlberg has been a fan of the Celtics for years and is often spotted wearing the team's merch. He has even once expressed his hopes for the Celtics to trade for Jimmy Butler, who played for the Philadelphia 76ers at the time. His wish didn't come true, however, since Butler ended up going to Miami Heat instead. Sorry, Mark.
Brooklyn Nets: JAY-Z
This one probably comes as no surprise. This Brooklyn-born legend is one of the Nets' biggest sponsors and was a huge part of their move from New Jersey to Brooklyn. But Jay-Z's ownership stake in the team is actually way less than fans might think.
The Empire State of Mind singer initially bought his share of the team for around $1 million, and it equals about 0.15% - way less than 1%. Although he later sold it for $350,000 at a significant loss, he still owns his stake in the Barclays Center, which is worth approximately $2 million.
Charlotte Hornets: Michael Jordan
Okay, we'll admit there may be a bit more of a bias here since Michael Jordan owns the Hornets. But it probably still means a lot to the team members to have one of the most revered basketball players of all time cheering them on during every one of their games.
Jordan initially bought a minority stake in the then-Charlotte Bobcats, and became the team's second-largest shareholder - with Robert L. Johnson being the majority owner. In 2010, Jordan bought the team from Johnson, making him the first former NBA player to become a majority shareholder of any of the league's teams.
Cleveland Cavaliers: Usher
This singer's hit singles Yeah and Burn amassed him a great amount of wealth in the 2000s, part of which he invested in the Cavaliers. Usher is part of a group of businessmen who bought the team for $375 million in 2005, becoming the third pop artist to own a large share in an NBA team.
Since this record-breaking business deal, the Cavaliers have won five Central Division Championships and three Eastern Conference Champions. The investment has been quite rewarding for Usher, since the team's worth has now reached over $1 billion. Consider us impressed.
Dallas Mavericks: Mark Cuban
Billionaire entrepreneur Mark Cuban has shelled out lots of money over the years into the Dallas Mavericks - and we're not only talking about investments. The owner of the Texas-based NBA team has reportedly been fined multiple times - once even reaching an amount of $600,000 - for inappropriate comments he's made about games.
In 2000, Cuban purchased majority stake in the team for around $285 million. Under his ownership, the team has undergone significant improvement in terms of its performance. In the subsequent decade, the team won 69% of their games, as opposed to only 40% prior to 2000.
Denver Nuggets: John Elway
This former quarterback put the NFL Denver Broncos on the map when he became MVP of Super Bowl XXXIII in 1998. Although he retired in 1999, he still holds several world records. He has one of the best winning percentages in league history (148–82–1), and the most total rushing touchdowns by any quarterback.
The city of Denver loves this sports star, and he loves it right back. His favorite NBA team is the Denver Nuggets. And his fans always enjoy seeing him seated among the crowd, cheering the players on. In one of the team's games against the Phoenix Suns, Elway even threw a football to fans during a brief break.
Detroit Pistons: Eminem
Slim started out his musical career in Detroit, where he grew up writing rap songs and working on lyrical skills that would later earn him worldwide success. The hip-hop legend favors one specific NBA team above all. And, of course, it's the Detroit Pistons.
The city takes pride in being a place the award-winning rapper calls home. He has been to several of the Piston's games and even announced an "NBA Remix" collab with the team. The collection - featuring jerseys, hats, and other items - sold out almost immediately.
Golden State Warriors: MC Hammer
San Francisco's Golden State Warriors have gained millions of supporters since NBA MVP Steph Curry became a member of the team. But perhaps one of the more important people who've joined the fanbase is none other than legendary rapper/producer MC Hammer.
An Oakland native and former batboy for the Oakland Athletics, MC Hammer has always been a fan of the city's sports teams. His music video for 2 Legit 2 Quit even aired during the season's games in 2013 and included notable players from the San Francisco Bay Area's sports championship.
Houston Rockets: Beyoncé
Queen B's royal roots started out in the city of Houston, Texas, where the legendary entertainment group Destiny's Child was formed. Beyoncé is a long-time supporter of the Houston Rockets, and she is arguably one of their most prominent fans, frequently spotted at the team's games.
Back in 2017, Beyoncé expressed interest in owning an NBA team - and of course, the first place she looked was Houston. Although she never ended up becoming a shareholder, the team's owner, Tilman Fertitta, told a Bloomberg podcast that "it's a compliment to have somebody like Beyoncé to want to be a part of your team."
Indiana Pacers: Mike Epps
Stand-up comedian and actor Mike Epps surely is a source of pride among the players of his favorite team. The Hangover actor is an Indiana native, born and raised in the state's capital. He takes an active part in sports events in his home state and even acted as "Super Bowl ambassador" in Indianapolis during the 2012 Superbowl.
His love for sports teams based in Indiana includes NBA teams as well. In a 2019 interview with The Undefeated, he explained, "Man, I've been a Pacers fan since Billy Knight, since the late '70s, so to talk to me about Pacers, I'm just a die-hard fan, period."
LA Clippers: Billy Crystal
Actor and comedian Billy Crystal, known for his prominent roles in numerous movies, is a longtime fan of the L.A. Clippers. He attended his first Clippers game in 1985 when they played in the L.A. Sports Arena and has been a loyal supporter ever since.
To honor the Hollywood star's unwavering loyalty and support over the years, the Clippers permitted Crystal to announce a game in their 2018 season alongside Ralph Lawler. There's no doubt that the Clippers players, as well as their fans, cherish this celebrity supporter.
LA Lakers: Jack Nicholson
Whenever there's a Lakers game happening, we can almost always count on seeing Jack Nicholson's face in the crowd. Sometimes, we may even spot him on the court, arguing with refs. A passionate Lakers season ticket holder since 1970, the actor has missed very few games in the past 25 years.
However, since the start of the pandemic, Nicholson, 84, has made very few public appearances. He was spotted at a Lakers game in October 2021 for the first time in two years. Following the death of NBA legend Kobe Bryant, Nicholson expressed his grief in a rare interview.
Memphis Grizzlies: Justin Timberlake
Justine Timberlake is yet another celebrity who likes to keep it local when it comes to supporting his favorite sports teams. He's a big supporter of the Grizzlies, based in his hometown of Memphis, Tennessee. He has even owned a minority stake in the team since 2012.
The Sexy Back singer even got into Twitter feuds over his favorite NBA team when another user boldly called him a 'bandwagon fan.' Timberlake had a sharp comeback ready, responding to the person with, "Uh... I'm from Memphis, and I'm an owner. Anyone else?" Fair point.
Miami Heat: Jimmy Buffett
Ever wonder how Jimmy Buffet spends his time when he's not chilling at his Margaritaville Cafe? We may have just found our answer. The prominent rock musician is a devoted fan of the NBA team from his home state and has been spotted sitting courtside at many of their games.
He's so committed to the team that Buffett was once even ejected from the American Airlines Arena during a game between the Miami Heat and the New York Knicks. Why? The star was kicked out by the head referee after allegedly using foul language. Yikes.
Milwaukee Bucks: Aaron Rodgers
Although he is a California native, born in the city of Chico, Rodgers undoubtedly has a piece of his heart rooted in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. The former quarterback for the Green Bay Packers is an essential part of the Bucks' fanbase, as well as their ownership.
The Bucks won the 2021 NBA Finals with Rodgers as a minority stake owner - something he surely takes no small pride in. His 1% investment seems to be heading in the right direction as well, with the Bucks currently valued at $1 billion - up from an estimated $550 million in 2014!
Minnesota Timberwolves: Craig Kilborn
Craig Kilborn has made quite a name in the world of sports, beginning his career as a broadcaster in the late '80s and later an ESPN anchor from 1993 to 1996. And when it comes to NBA games specifically, he has a soft spot for the Minnesota Timberwolves.
Although he's originally from Missouri, the comedian has been a supporter of the Timberwolves for quite some time. He even played against Kevin Garnett in a game of H.O.R.S.E. during the T-wolves' 2003 training camp in Collegeville. Not too many fans can say they've crossed that one off their bucket list!
Toronto Raptors: Drake
Most fans can probably agree that Canadian icon Drake is no stranger to this Toronto-based NBA team. The In My Feelings artist is often spotted sitting courtside at Raptors games and having conversations with the players, almost as though he's actually part of the team.
When the Raptors won the 2019 NBA Finals, Drake personally made sure to have his photograph taken with the trophy - and even had a custom ring made to celebrate the event. Frequently dubbed the Raptors' "Global Ambassador," he even helped the team design their "We The North" jerseys. Now that's a fan.
New Orleans Pelicans: Lil Wayne
Lil Wayne is one musician who's made sure to never forget where he comes from. He's made many mentions of his hometown of New Orleans in his songs. The rapper even has the number 17 tattooed on his face, representing the 17th ward of New Orleans - the area he grew up in.
So, sure enough, when it came to choosing his favorite NBA team, it was a no-brainer for Wayne. He has supported the Pelicans for a long time and has even shown up to several of their games. And while he's also been a fan of other teams across the league over the years, the Pelicans can always count on Weezy's support.
New York Knicks: Spike Lee
Movie director and producer Spike Lee is mostly known for his famous cinematography. But something we know a bit less about is his love for the NBA. More specifically, the New York Knicks - a team that has had his support for seemingly endless years.
Although he was born in Atlanta, Georgia, his family's move to Brooklyn when Lee was a child is probably where his love for the Knicks originated. The 64-year-old Oscar winner has always wanted the best for the New York Knicks, once even calling out the team's owner, James Dolan, for his poor management of the team.
Oklahoma City Thunder: Bill Hader
Oklahoma-born Bill Hader is a longtime supporter of his state's only major professional sports team. The Oklahoma City Thunder are undoubtedly proud to have Hader on their side - especially since the actor has made sure to let them know he's such a huge fan of theirs.
In a 2012 interview during the NBA finals, he shared his unwavering support for the team. "I will be your Jack Nicholson," he joked. "I just need to figure out a way to get here from New York. If I can figure out a perfect flight that makes sense and I could do it on my off-weeks from SNL, I'm 100% into being Jack Nicholson."
Orlando Magic: Tiger Woods
Although he's best known as a golf champion, make no mistake about it: when it comes to the NBA, Tiger Woods knows where his loyalty lies. A former resident of Orlando, Florida, the 18-time World Golf Championship winner is a major superfan of the city's NBA team.
However, since moving from Orlando to Jupiter Island, Florida, Woods has been seen less frequently at the Magics' games. And the fans have apparently noticed his absence. Of Woods' move to Jupiter Island, The Orlando Sentinel reflected, "He was a fan-favorite at Orlando Magic games."
Philadelphia 76ers: Will Smith
Although the Fresh Prince found a way to make it in Bel-Air, his fans know that he couldn't have done so without carrying a piece of his hometown with him. The Philadelphia native's favorite NBA team, needless to say, remains the Philadelphia 76ers.
As of 2011, Will Smith, who currently lives in L.A., is a minority owner of the 76ers. The team's former point guard, Evan Turner, took to Twitter to express his delight at the news. "I think it's dope that the Fresh Prince is one of our new owners," he noted. "Maybe Willow can perform at halftime."
Phoenix Suns: Phil Mickelson
Though he is a California native, six-time championship winner Phil Mickelson is a huge fan of the Pheonix Suns. We think his golfing scholarship at Arizona State University may have something to do with it. In any case, Mickelson never misses a chance to go see his favorite NBA team whenever there's a game.
The former owner of the Suns once shared a story of Mickelson at a game in the early 2000s. "One night, either at halftime or during a timeout, you know how the Gorilla jumps off the trampoline? All of a sudden, I look up, and there's Phil with the ball, and he's about to run and jump off the trampoline."
Portland Trail Blazers: Elizabeth Banks
The Massachusetts-born actress really went from one coast to another to choose her favorite NBA team. Just kidding - she went there to choose her future husband. Nonetheless, the Blazers must have been ecstatic when Elizabeth Banks vowed to support them as long as she shall live.
The Hunger Games star is active on social media, where she constantly voices her support for the NBA team from Portland. However, the actress does have favorite players on teams besides the Trail Blazers - such as 11-time NBA All-Star and MVP Allen Iveron.
Sacramento Kings: Kevin Johnson
Although he previously played point guard for the Pheonix Suns, the former Mayor of Sacramento is a huge supporter of the players of his city's NBA team. He's had the Kings' back for years, since before he served as leader of the capital city of California.
In 2013, the Kings nearly left the Golden State to move to Seattle - until Mayor Johnson intervened at the last minute to lend a helping hand. To the delight of thousands of fans, Johnson was able to secure a new stadium for the Kings and keep the Sacramento monarchy intact.
San Antonio Spurs: Samuel L. Jackson
Widely considered one of the greatest actors of all time, Samuel L. Jackson is most certainly one of the Spurs' most notable fans. Although he was born in the nation's capital, the Coming to America star is a diehard supporter of the Texas-based team.
Jackson loves the team so much that he even called them out after their loss to the New York Knicks on the night of the Oscars in 2019. He immediately lamented their loss because of "poor defense." The actor has also narrated the San Antonio team's video introduction.
Utah Jazz: Macklemore
It seems the only reason Macklemore is thought to be a Jazz supporter is that he wore a Gordon Hayward Utah Jazz jersey during an interview with Rolling Stone magazine. Still, Utah is probably thrilled to have the support of the iconic rapper and songwriter.
Not to mention, he's probably the only celebrity fan of the Salt Lake City-based team. So, when he showed support for them in 2013, they were quick to embrace it. Gordon Hayward even tweeted, "Shout out to @macklemore for reppin' the Hayward jazz jersey in the @RollingStone magazine."
Washington Wizards: Wale
Olubowale Victor Akintimehin, better known by his stage name Wale, is a hardcore supporter of the Washington Wizards. This only makes sense, we guess, since D.C. is where the rapper was born and raised. Multiple singles and award nominations later, the team can still count on him to support them.
The artist is an inspiration to the NBA team of his hometown. In 2014, they announced him as their "creative liaison." Wale expressed his excitement about this announcement in an NBA press release, saying, "As a D.C. native and lifelong Wizards fan, this is truly an exciting and organic relationship for me."
Houston Rockets: Travis Scott
The Houston Rockets are lucky enough to have the royalty of Hollywood on their side. But Queen B is not the only celebrity on this team's celeb roster: Travis Scott is a major supporter of the Rockets as well! His connection to the NBA team goes way back - since the rapper's high school days.
Travis revealed in an interview with Bleacher Report that he used to be a ball boy for the Rockets back in his high school days. He's quite a popular figure among the players on the team, as he's been a fan of the Houston players for several years. He is especially close friends with their shooting guard James Harden.