9 Hard-Core Celebrity NBA Fans (Who Aren’t Named Spike or Jack)

As the story goes, when Jack Nicholson was setting up shop in Boston on the set of “The Departed,” he had one simple rule. No Celtics gear. None. Whether the story’s true or not, it fits a man who’s become synonymous with Lakers basketball. A season ticket holder for more than three decades, Jack’s spent more time courtside than he has in the bedroom.

But Nicholson–not to mention his East Coast celeb-fan equivalent, Spike Lee–certainly isn’t alone. NBA games have long served as havens for celebs looking to pass the winter night, grab some extra attention and get a couple free hot dogs.

Flea–Los Angeles Lakers

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The Red Hot Chili Peppers‘ bassist is a longtime Lakers fan (and recent guest on Bill Simmons’ B.S. Report podcast). Flea‘s love for the purple and gold led he and Anthony Kiedis to include two songs about the Lakers on their 1989 album, Mother’s Milk.

If you’ve got time today–and if you really hate punctuation marks–check out Flea’s NBA.com blog from a few years back.

Nelly–Charlotte Bobcats

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Country Grammar sold 8.4 million copies, which gave Cornell Iral Haynes, Jr. some liquid cash to invest. So in 2004, he went out and bought a stake in the Charlotte Bobcats. He held on to his partial ownership until 2010, when his ownership group sold to current owner (and onetime halfway decent ballplayer) Michael Jordan.

Now, he just watches from courtside as the Bobcats trudge through a historically bad season–although it’s still better than watching the remake of “The Longest Yard.”

Usher–Cleveland Cavaliers

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Usher bought a stake in the Cleveland Cavaliers in 2005, when it seemed like LeBron James was a lock to take them to an NBA title. Things, well…they didn’t work out.

Kanye West–Chicago Bulls

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Kanye hails from Chi-town, so he’s been running with the Bulls since the early years of the Michael Jordan era. Not that it’s always been rosy for Ye, who got booed at a game last year. Still, the love affair persists.

Larry David–Los Angeles Lakers

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Despite the fact that he doesn’t have Shaq to push around anymore, Larry David still tries to get to Lakers games as often as possible. Not only that, he’s there until the final buzzer–at least according to this Page 2 story from a few years ago. Mostly because he’s found a way around traffic.

Queen Latifah–New Jersey Nets

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Queen Latifah, who played hoops at Irvington High School in New Jersey, grew up a Nets fan–which is something like growing up as a fan of paper cuts or of the movie “Just Wright.”

Kid Rock–Detroit Pistons

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Kid Rock‘s got a lot of interests. Dirt bikes. Living free. Getting into all sorts of trouble with the guy from Creed. And, most shameful of all, the Detroit Pistons.

George Lucas–Golden State Warriors

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A long time ago, in a town just east of the Bay, George Lucas had something to cheer about. He was 31 years old when the Golden State Warriors won their first NBA title after moving west from Philadelphia. That same year, he founded Industrial Light and Magic, the visual effects company behind “Star Wars” and virtually everything cool in Hollywood for the next decade. Things, as they say, were looking up.

Over the past 37 years, Lucas and ILM have fared a little better than the Warriors, who haven’t won a title since their first.

Jimmy Buffett–Miami Heat

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Jimmy Buffett, the man responsible for  “Margaritaville” and Parrot Heads, has never really been one for working too hard. That is precisely why he’s a Miami Heat fan.

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