Toronto Raptors: Drake
EVERY. SINGLE. THING. IS. BETTER. WHEN. DRAKE. DOES. IT.
The only reason he’s not the celebrity for every team on this list is because I received an email that read “Drake’s not allowed to be the celebrity fan for every team on this list.” Oppression is real.
Portland Trail Blazers: Fred Armisen
I could write a bunch. Or you could just watch this video clip. Just watch the video clip. ❤
Dallas Mavericks: Mark Cuban
This is a true story: After the Mavs lost the championship to the Heat in 2006, Dirk Nowitzki told some media folks that maybe it’d be better if Mark Cuban chilled out a bit at the games. Of course, all the basketball media published his comments. So I sent Cuban a very short email* asking him how it felt reading the things that Nowitzki had said about playing for him, AND HE ACTUALLY RESPONDED. I was like, “Oh my god oh my god oh my god.” It didn’t say much (a recap: You mean how much he enjoys playing for me?), but that’s not the point. He probably got 5,000 emails that day. I can’t even imagine. But whatever. He responded to mine. I pledged my life to him that day. Mark Cuban is an angel.
Sacramento Kings: Sasha Grey
This is one of the most compelling celebrity fan partnerships of any sport of any era on any planet. Do you remember how quickly Sasha Grey helped Vinny Chase unravel in Season 7 of Entourage? And Vinny was mostly an I-Don’t-Want-to-Get-in-Too-Much-Trouble kind of guy. There’s no way an adult film star doesn’t at least convince Nik Stauskas to get cornrows. And I can’t even imagine the sort of mayhem that’d come with Grey hanging out with Reggie Evans and Boogie Cousins. If they hang out more than three times during any one season, I guarantee someone is going to make an adult film called Booty Cousins.
Brooklyn Nets: JAY Z
Jay Z once rapped, “The Nets could go 0-for-82 and I’d look at you like, This shit gravy.” That can either mean his relationship with them is less than sincere, or that it is so supremely sincere that even the very worst they could ever do would not be enough to sway him from his allegiance to the team. I don’t know. Either way, it doesn’t matter. Because the most perfect thing of all was the time Jay caught Beyoncé giving LeBron James the eyeball business at a Nets game.
Every guy knows exactly what Beyoncé was thinking when she tried to do the look-away move once she realized Jay Z saw her ogling LeBron.*
L.A. Clippers: Billy Crystal
Here is the best thing Billy Crystal has ever said, real life or film life: “I had Laker tickets for a while. They were great. But it was, like, no challenge.” That’s from an interview during which Larry King asked Crystal how he became a Clippers fan. You can see the whole segment right here. I knew Crystal was charming (HE’S MIKE WAZOWSKI), but I had no idea he had so much gumption. I guess I was thrown off because he’s very much starting to look like a grandmother. I don’t know. Whatever. Crystal’s been rooting for the Clips for 20-plus years now. That’s a whole lot of crap to have to shovel away before you find Chris Paul and Blake Griffin. Good on Crystal. I like a guy who likes the fight.
Detroit Pistons: Kid Rock
Kid Rock’s face looks like smoking a cigarette in your living room at 8 a.m. His face looks like opening the door to a beat-up truck and having a bunch of empty cans of Milwaukee’s Best come tumbling out. His face always looks like how my face looks whenever I check my bank account online, which is weird because last week I had to eat a tortilla inside of a tortilla for dinner and he is a multimillionaire. But I think that’s part of the reason he’s so beloved. He’s just so perfectly ordinary, commonplace, regular. It’s why he gets this spot over Eminem. Eminem called himself a rap god. Kid Rock called himself an American badass. None of us are either of those, but we’re probably all a lot closer to the second than the first. Also, Kid Rock was in Joe Dirt. Kid Rock is so clutch.
Milwaukee Bucks: Mallory Edens
I actually had to Google “Who is Mallory Edens?” when I first started working on this. (She’s the daughter of Bucks co-owner Wesley Edens.)* Basically what I’m saying is you can probably get courtside tickets to Bucks games for pretty cheap.
*She’s also a Knicks fan, per the New York Post. She became a Bucks fan after her dad bought the team, which seems a lot like becoming a fan of sprained ankles after your dad rolls his stepping out of the car.
Indiana Pacers: Jared from Subway
HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA.
Miami Heat: Jimmy Buffett
The most famous celebrity fan showdown is Spike Lee vs. Reggie Miller. But the most infamous is Jimmy Buffett vs. referee Joe Forte in 2001.
After what Buffett felt was an uncalled foul near the end of a close game, he shouted, “Hey, Joe. Why don’t you call the fucking foul?” Shortly thereafter, Buffett was being escorted out of the arena by security. This is the best part, though: It’s from a story Carl Hiaasen wrote for the Miami Herald. Buffett explains himself: “All of a sudden, I’m the Jose Marti of the basketball court. The crowd didn’t want me to leave. They’re screaming, ’Stay in your seat!’ They wanted me to get arrested and get carried out of there.”
Charlotte Hornets: Michael Jordan
The Charlotte Hornets don’t have celebrity fans. So this spot gets baton-ed over to Michael Jordan, the team’s current owner and also, by the way, the owner of the only pair of khaki-colored eyeballs on earth. It’s cool to see him finally win something* in Charlotte.
*Sorry, Mike. That was uncalled for. I don’t know where it came from. You’re the greatest.
Utah Jazz: Macklemore
Do you know how you become the celebrity fan for the Utah Jazz? You get your picture taken wearing a Gordon Hayward jersey. That’s it. That’s all. Congratulations, you’re the most famous Utah Jazz fan now.
Second place was that adorable little boy who was crying after they lost last year.
San Antonio Spurs: Danny Trejo
There were only three options here: country music superstar George Strait, bunchy-face superstar Selena Gomez, and the human fistfight Danny Trejo, whom you most likely remember as Machete in Machete.* However, only one of those three has a scene in a movie that involves slicing open a man’s abdomen, grabbing hold of that man’s intestines, then using them as a rope to escape out a window during a shootout. So there was just one real option to choose from.
Trejo is the best celebrity fan for the Spurs: He’s old but still menacing, he works soundly but not loudly (he’s been in every movie that’s been filmed for the last 25 years), and he is Latino, like a very large section of the fan base. Plus, I actually wanna say that I remember reading about how Gregg Popovich did that same intestines fatality to Stephen Jackson after a game in the 2013 playoffs, though I might be mistaken.
Memphis Grizzlies: Justin Timberlake
If you’re the person within the Grizzlies* organization in charge of what gets played during home games and you don’t have it queued up so that every time the other team argues with a call, a clip from “Cry Me a River” plays on the JumboTron, then maybe you’re not the person most qualified for the job.
*Justin Timberlake is actually from Memphis, so that’s why he’d root for them. Also, he and his wife, Jessica Biel, are part-owners of the Grizzlies. That’s another reason he’d root for them.
Golden State Warriors: Eddy Cue
Eddy Cue. The guy from Apple. Because the only other person who had a shot was Jessica Alba, but she got knocked off because if you want to make it on this list, the one thing you have to be able to recognize is when Devon Sawa’s hand is possessed by the devil and is trying to kill you. She didn’t recognize that. Almost being killed didn’t make her want to run away. It made her want to have sex. You can’t have that kind of poor judgment around the beautiful angel Steph Curry. So welcome to the celebrity fan fraternity, Eddy Cue, whoever you are.
Chicago Bulls: Barack Obama
If there’s an NBA fan draft, the first pick’s gotta be Barack, right?
Still, not even the support of the commander in chief when he was at his most influential could prevent Derrick Rose’s knees from crumpling like aluminum foil these last few seasons. How bad is it going to get in Chicago when Obama’s not even in office anymore? I wouldn’t be surprised if the whole starting five’s arms and legs turned to ash the first week of the 2017-18 season.
New Orleans Pelicans: Bunk from ‘The Wire’
Anthony Davis catches the ball at the top of the key, makes some unbelievable move that only his alien body could pull off*, slices into the lane, then just obliterates whatever dummy is dumb enough to challenge him at the rim (probably Kendrick Perkins). The whole place erupts. Social media delivers about a billion memes tagged with an aggressively clever hashtag (probably #RIPerkins). Poor Perk just lies there on his back trying to figure out how he’s still alive. And then that’s when it happens: Bunk comes walking on the court, full detective suit, and reenacts the crime scene investigation bit from The Wire where he and McNulty don’t say anything but “fuck” for five minutes.
*I was watching a Pelicans game once and I’m 80 percent sure that when Davis squatted down to prepare to jump, his legs bent the opposite way like the aliens in The Arrival.
Phoenix Suns: Phil Mickelson
I rewatched all of the episodes of Breaking Bad hoping to catch either Walt or Pinkman or even Gus in a Cedric Ceballos* jersey or something, because I desperately wanted to have someone cool here for Phoenix. Alas, the Suns get stuck with Phil Mickelson, the Badger of professional golfers.
*If Walter White were a fan of any NBA player, it would definitely be Cedric Ceballos.
If you’re a Sixers fan, you just cross your fingers and hope that I Am Legend Will Smith shows up or Fresh Prince Will Smith or Pursuit of Happyness Will Smith or Bad Boys Will Smith or even Hancock Will Smith. Any of those would be great for the team. Because if After Earth Will Smith shows up, man, you gotta just call that game off. That’s an automatic L.
Denver Nuggets: Matt Stone & Trey Parker
Because JaVale McGee playing BASEketball or watching BASEketball or trying to explain BASEketball or even spelling BASEketball would be worth it.
Cleveland Cavaliers: Usher
If Usher could turn Justin Bieber into the most dangerous man in America (or Canada, I suppose), then there’s no telling what the 2015 Cavs are going to do with his support. They might win 50 championships in a row. Plus, how about if LeBron decides he wants everyone to learn the choreography from Usher’s “My Way” video and then they start doing it at the games?
If LeBron gets Kevin Love to do the Usher Glide down the player aisle during pregame introductions, then he automatically becomes the GOAT.
Oklahoma City Thunder: Bill Hader
Bill Hader is a surprisingly perfect fit here. He’s young, he’s hyper-likable, he’s smart, and he’s right on the cusp of being a true-blue superhero. That’s basically the same description you could toss at Kevin Durant, really. And it’s always wonderful when the team’s best player is an avatar of its most famous fan (Nicholson and Kobe, Obama and Rose, Wahlberg and Rondo). Best-case scenario: Hader’s The Skeleton Twins ekes out an Oscar nomination or two this year and the Thunder manage to keep Scott Brooks tied to a chair long enough to win a championship this season. Remember him going against Pop last year in the playoffs? Man, come on.
Atlanta Hawks: 2 Chainz
The very first song on 2 Chainz’s 2013 album B.O.A.T.S. II: Me Time is called “Fork.” The production tinks and thumps and occasionally booms, but mostly it’s just there to frame 2 Chainz’s mania, which is as crisp and perfect on the song as it’s ever been in his career. At the end of the second verse, after already having rapped a handful of A-plus similes and metaphors and also after just a small enough break to make sure you’re paying attention, 2 Chainz calls out, “My wrist deserve a shout-out, I’m like, ‘What up, wrist?’ My stove deserve a shout-out, I’m like ‘What up, stove?’” He said his stove also deserved a shout-out AND SO HE GAVE HIS STOVE ONE. If that’s not enough to earn him the celebrity fan seat for the Hawks, then really, what are we all even doing here? Just go ahead and tell the universe to eat the planet and let’s try again on Mars.
Boston Celtics: Donnie Wahlberg
Before you start tossing out other names you think deserve to be here more (Matt Damon, Conan O’Brien, et al.), I just want to take a moment to remind you that the video for New Kids on the Block’s “Step by Step,” maybe the greatest music video ever recorded, features Donnie Wahlberg riding a motorcycle on set (0:03), jumping over a drum set in slow motion (0:13), performing choreography with four young white men while wearing a Public Enemy T-shirt (0:38), aggressively pointing at a group of invisible people (1:37), littering (1:41), appearing in black and white while his groupmates are in color (2:24), jumping over a drum set again and then immediately jumping over a person (2:32), throwing a basketball the wrong way through a hoop (3:10), coolly eating a sandwich (3:24), and throwing trash at a person (3:27).
Minnesota Timberwolves: Jesse “The Body” Ventura
This is going to be a rough season for the Wolves. Real rough. So what they need is someone rough. Real rough. They need a guy who once described himself as a “goddamn sexual tyrannosaurus.” They need a guy who went on television and advocated for gun ownership while wearing a bedazzled Jimi Hendrix shirt. They need a guy who hates to lose so much that, when faced with the prospect of being defeated in an arm-wrestling contest, he chose to assault his opponent with a chair, stomp him out, spit on him, then pose for pictures on top of him. That’s what Minnesota needs this year.
Washington Wizards: Wale
Nobody has respected the Wizards since they changed their name from the Bullets and nobody has respected Wale since The Mixtape About Nothing, so these two go together perfectly.
Personally, I think both are very enjoyable. I mean, did you even watch the “Clappers” video? He should be given lifetime immunity for pulling that one off.
Houston Rockets: Jim Parsons
Because there is a very sizable part of America that feels the same way about Jim Parsons that the rest of America feels about Beyoncé. My favorite thing to do is, if I’m out with people who are pretending to be smart, I’m like, “Yeah, agree 100 percent, The Big Bang Theory is total drivel. I can’t think of a more brainless show.” Then I go home and watch, like, 10 episodes in a row. Remember the “Bazinga. I don’t care” moment?
Oh, man. Sheldon is a gem.
Orlando Magic: Tiger Woods
L.A. Lakers: Flea, Leonardo Dicaprio, Denzel Washington, Jack Nicholson, Dyan Cannon
The starting five for the Lakers. The most alluring, intriguing, compelling famous fans of any franchise in any sport on any planet in any solar system in any galaxy. I mean, I don’t really know what needs to be written here beyond their names.
That’s Academy Awards, Golden Globes, Grammys, everything. Every single thing of importance within the entertainment industry that can be won exists in this group. (And I think Leo even actually won a Nobel Prize for The Basketball Diaries.) Did you even see The Shining? Did you even see Malcolm X? Did you even hear “Give It Away” or even watch the video? Did you even see Bob & Carol & Ted & Alice? Did you even see The Departed?
New York Knicks: Chris Rock, Ben Stiller, Spike Lee, Woody Allen, Uma Thurman
The starting five for the Knicks’ celebrity fan team is the second-greatest compilation of famous fans for a single team. Among the lot of them, you’re talking about Do the Right Thing, arguably the greatest movie about race; Annie Hall, arguably the most profound love story; Bigger and Blacker, arguably the funniest smart comedy special; the Kill Bill series, arguably the most entertaining movie franchise for movies that have a lot of karate kicks in them; and The Secret Life of Walter Mitty, which is a movie in which Ben Stiller rides a longboard with rocks tied to his hands. Does it get any better?
Yes, it does …