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Pick-Six: Top celebrity sports fans

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Drake made waves during the NBA Playoffs for his excitement and courtside antics during Raptors games, and became as much of a story at times as the action actually happening on the court.

While some may not have appreciated the Toronto native’s excessive fandom, others found that his excitement and celebrity status added a whole new level to the games that can’t be matched by many in the entertainment world.

With that in mind, it was only fitting to look back and see who has added some star power of their own to sidelines and courtsides across the country as the ultimate celebrity superfans.

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Honorable mentions: Maria Menounos, Kevin Hart, Rihanna

I always used to get feedback about Pick-Six’s missing a person or a team or an item, so we’re going to try something new from now on for topics that warrant it: Honorable mentions.

For starters, Maria Menounos is an all-around sports fan, and, as an Emerson alum myself, I feel the need to recognize her fandom to get this Pick-Six installment off on the right foot. She’s a die-hard Boston sports fan, and has even been kicked out of a game at a Celtics-Lakers game because of a certain someone in the top spot on this list. She’s also a WWE superfan, which earns extra points in my book.

Next up is the exact opposite of a Boston sports fan: Kevin Hart. The Philadelphia sports-loving comedy star hasn’t been shy when it comes to expressing his brotherly love for his teams, and got to finally experience what a championship feels like when his Eagles took down the Patriots in Super Bowl LII. He’s got some incredible sports connections between his friendships with Jimmy Butler and Neymar, and is always an entertaining watch at the NBA All-Star Game. Unfortunately, he comes up just short on this list.

Last but not least, you have to add Rihanna as an honorable mention for this Pick-Six, but she loses a few points for being a bit of a bandwagon fan. Sure, she’s one of the NBA’s best fans and always seems to have a large presence courtside during some of the league’s biggest games. But, she also seems to be a LeBron James fan more than a fan of a specific team, and you know what they say: Team work makes the dream work.

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6. Will Ferrell

It’s not often you can have a celebrity that’s played for numerous MLB teams in one day, but that’s exactly what you’ve got when you take a look at Will Ferrell.

Ferrell is a king in the comedy world, and showcased it when he played for 10 different teams, stepping in for the Mariners, Athletics, Cubs, Angels, Reds, Diamondbacks, Giants, White Sox, Dodgers and Padres.

He put his basketball talents to the test when he played for the Flint Tropics as Jackie Moon in the movie “Semi-Pro,” and even got involved in some drunk antics at the Staples Center for his movie “Daddy’s Home” with Mark Wahlberg.

But, in the real world, Ferrell is actually one of the bigger sports fans out there, evident by his friendship with Seahawks head coach Pete Carroll and his fandom for the USC Trojans.

Sure, his jokes seem to take the center stage in his life, but he’s one of the more dedicated celebrities when it comes to the sports world, and it earns him an honorable sixth spot to open things up in this piece.

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5. Jay-Z

I badly wanted to include Beyoncé to make this a dual appearance in the fifth spot, but figured she’d only want an appearance as a Single Lady if she was going to make the list.

All jokes aside, you can always find Jay-Z repping his teams in New York, whether he’s rapping about his Nets in Brooklyn or rocking a Yankees hat. Add in his extensive sports resume between his former Nets ownership stake or his sports agency, and Jay-Z is an all-around sports mogul.

Oh, and don’t forget his killer sports references about other teams in his raps, too. Between lines like, “Like Magic in his prime when Kareem sky hooked / Y’all not worthy, sometimes I feel like / Y’all don’t deserve me, my flow unearthly,” and “To guide y’all through, show you how it’s done / I’m the question and the answer like Iverson,” Hova’s got it all, and he’s a complete sports package that deserves this honor.

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4. Matthew McConaughey

Alright, alright, alright. As the numbers go down and the stakes get higher, it’s time to head south in these rankings with Mr. Matthew McConaughey.

It’s always fun to see McConaughey on the sidelines for Texas football games, hookin’ his horns and supporting his team in an upfront way.

He’s shown up on SportsCenter with Scott Van Pelt to talk about his team, he’s shown his excitement during big games like this past January’s Sugar Bowl and the 2006 Rose Bowl. It’s always an incredible atmosphere when he shows up down in Austin, and he’s a guy who will never forget his roots.

Add in his perfect performance as the head coach at Marshall in the movie “We Are Marshall,” and McConaughey just keeps piling on to his sports fan resume in unique ways, earning him the fourth spot on this list.

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3. Drake

Welp…I’m sorry, but I had to. He’s the man who inspired this whole story. He’s a man who caught the attention of players, fans and league representatives throughout the NBA Playoffs this year. And, he’s basically an NBA champion…I think? He is… Aubrey “Drake” Graham.

Sure, you can think he’s annoying. You can think he’s over-the-top. But, you can’t deny that he helped put the Raptors on the map (no pun intended) and helped make them more popular when it comes to pop culture.

I always enjoy the extra aspects of any sports event, whether it’s how great the game is, how loud a crowd is, or how fired up and excited people get when big moments take your breath away. That’s why I loved watching Drake courtside during the Raptors’ journey through the postseason.

I loved him getting into it with Draymond Green, and I loved him trolling the Warriors by wearing a Dell Curry jersey or a “Home Alone” hoodie. I love his sports references in his songs, whether it’s talking about Steph Curry, LeBron James, Kevin Durant or James Harden.

I also loved how much he genuinely cared when Kevin Durant went down during Game 5 of the NBA Finals, and how he FaceTimed Curry after the smoke cleared following Game 6.

You can love him or you can hate him, but you can’t deny that Drake cares about his team and cares about the sports world, and it’s a great crossover that will always add a positive element to the games.

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2. Spike Lee

Just like the celebrity who took the top spot in this Pick-Six, Spike Lee is an absolute staple when any basketball fan thinks of the New York Knicks (although, I’m unsure why anyone would want to think of the Knicks at this point…)

Between his courtside antics, his infamous rivalry with Reggie Miller and his constant callbacks to his sports fandom throughout his movies, Lee was the OG before Drake really jumped into the limelight as Toronto’s favorite son in these last few NBA seasons.

Anyone heading to Madison Square Garden may be looking to enjoy some basketball in one of the world’s most famous arenas, but I’m sure some have gone simply to see what Spike Lee has to offer as a superfan.

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1. Jack Nicholson

There’s only one possible answer when you’re talking about the best celebrity sports fan, and it’s the man, the myth, the legend: Jack Nicholson.

Nicholson is a common sight when you’re watching a Lakers game, and could almost be considered more famous than the franchise itself has been over the last six or seven years.

However, when you’ve dealt with losing records the last six seasons, even with LeBron James as the centerpiece for one of them, you should automatically be considered an all-time fan. Add in the fact that it’s Jack Freaking Nicholson, and you’ve got an easy winner in this case.

With any luck, the Lakers may be able to take on the title of “number one” at some point in the next few years with James and the newly-acquired Anthony Davis on the floor together.

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