It is a very common sight at an NBA game to see the cameras focus on different celebrities during a game. It is a very common sight to see courtside seats being taken up by a variety of celebrities.
Why Do Celebrities go to NBA games? Celebrities attend NBA games very often. These celebrities will go to NBA games for a variety of reasons. Whether they be a super fan or part owner.
Some celebrities are superfans of the teams and can be seen at almost every home game. Some celebrities will occasionally get some courtside seats for their local teams home games. It is even sometimes the case that some celebrities own a portion of the team, and therefore want to see how their team is performing.
Why do celebrities go to NBA games?
It is very common to see some of the biggest stars in Music and film to be in the courtside seats of an NBA game. They will very often be seen there, in seats costing thousands and thousands of dollars. These are not really seats for the average person. There are often also cases where these celebrities will not have to pay for these seats. NBA teams can try to attract more fans to come to their games by having high profile guests sit in the courtside seats. There are therefore a variety of reasons why celebrities go to NBA games.
Spike Lee is the ultimate example of a celebrity who is also an NBA superfan. Lee is a highly decorated screenwriter and film director. He has directed some huge films over his career, including Jungle Fever, and Malcolm X. Spike Lee is mainly known for his incredible films, but he is also very well known in NBA culture as a New York Knicks superfan. Spike Lee has been constantly seen in the courtside seats for NBA games, as well as being publicly critical of the poor performances of his Knicks over the years.
Drake could also be looked at in a similar way. Being from Canada, Drake is a massive Toronto Raptors fan, and was hugely involved in the celebrations when the Raptors won their first NBA championship in 2019. Drake even released two songs to celebrate the Raptors winning their first title. Drake is a huge fan of the team.
Jay Z also fits into this category. He was at one time a part time owner of the Brooklyn Nets, being a Brooklyn native means he has always been a fan of the team. Despite selling his shares in the team in 2013, Jay Z is still massively involved with the team, and can often be seen at the Barclays centre for some of the Nets games.
There are also multiple examples from the past of major celebrities getting season tickets for NBA teams. Obviously, Spike Lee is the most common one. But different teams can boast having some of Hollywood’s biggest stars as season ticket holders. The Golden State Warriors have consistently seen the support of actress Jessica Alba, having been a season ticket holder for the team even before they won it all in 2015, 2017 and 2018.
The Los Angeles Lakers are a team which stands above the rest when it comes to big name season ticket holders. One of rap’s biggest stars, Lil’ Wayne often goes to NBA games, as well as Hollywood A lister Denzel Washington.
Celebrities who are part owners
Often celebrities who can develop huge amounts of wealth over their careers, use some of that capital to become part owners of NBA teams. There are multiple examples of this, and it is usually done because those celebrities are locals. It means that they have a monetary interest in the team, and will often go to games.
The biggest example of this comes from a former NBA superstar. Back in 2010, North Carolina native Michael Jordan bought a majority stake in the Charlotte Hornets. In doing so, he became the first NBA player to own the majority of a team. It means you will often see Jordan at Hornets games, supporting his team. It is no surprise to see him do this, as he wants to show the fans he is invested in bettering the team.
Another example of this would be Justin Timberlake. Timberlake was born in Memphis Tennessee, and so when the Grizzlies moved to Memphis, Timberlake took an interest in the team. Timberlake and his wife Jessica Biel are both part owners in the Grizzlies, so you will often catch them at games, supporting their team.
Celebrities who are Casual Fans of the NBA
Quite a few celebrities mainly just go to the bigger games across the league. Game five of the 2021 NBA finals was a good example of this. Despite the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, the NBA saw stars like Adele, Guy Fieri and Lil Wayne attend the NBA finals. These are quite often people who are not big NBA fans, but will often be seen at the big games. This can be for a couple of reasons, mainly due to the huge spectacle of an NBA finals game, it would be difficult for a lot of celebrities to say no to the opportunity of courtside tickets to see a Finals game.
You will quite often see some of these more casual fans get involved with the players, due to their star power. Rihanna is a good example of this. During his time with the warriors, Rihanna spent most of game one of the 2017 NBA finals heckling Kevin Durant. It turned out to be a pretty hilarious storyline to the game, with Durant staring down Rihanna after hitting a clutch three pointer in the fourth quarter.
It just shows that celebrities go to NBA games for a variety of reasons. Some go simply as die hard fans, despite their teams lack of success like Spike Lee. NBA teams often have celebrities holding minority shares in the team, so you will often see them at games, supporting the team that they are invested in. Obviously, you see a lot more celebrities at the big games across the NBA calendar. It provides a great opportunity for some celebrities to get some needed free advertisement.