Craziest NBA Fans in Recent Memory
As we learned recently, NBA fans come in all shapes, sizes...and intensity levels. While most people are rather reserved in their love of the game, there are those (like the young man who ran up to LeBron James during the Miami Heat's visit to Cleveland) who are fanatical in every sense of the word.
From body paint to crazy signs to just a constant presence, there are many ways for one to express true loyalty and fandom for a team. You don't need a lot of time or money to prove that you support your favorite team, but you may need a lot of both if you want to be considered one of the NBA's craziest fans.
1) Jimmy Goldstein: NBA
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Not only is Jimmy Goldstein perhaps the ultimate NBA fan, he may be the very definition of the word "eccentric." NBA commissioner David Stern refers to Goldstein as a "superfan," an accurate description for someone who travels around the country to watch at least 100 games each year.
Goldstein is a multimillionaire who loves basketball, and that's all that most people know about him. The clothes that he wears to games rival the suits of Craig Sager, and despite having front-row seats at virtually every game, he doesn't appear to have a rooting interest in any particular team.
2) Mr. ORNG: Phoenix Suns
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If the picture didn't make it abundantly clear, Mr. ORNG is a diehard fan of the Phoenix Suns. He serves as an official ambassador for the team, has more than 2,000 followers on Facebook and even has his own Twitter handle (@phxmrorng).
Being orange has its perks, apparently: Mr. ORNG has met a number of celebrities over the past several years, including former vice presidential candidate Sarah Palin. He even received a pair of shoes (orange, naturally) from Josh Childress at the end of last season. When he's not at Suns' games, Mr. ORNG is studying for his MBA at Arizona State.
3) Big Daddy: Philadelphia 76ers
The biggest fan of the Philadelphia 76ers—literally—is a man who goes by the name "Big Daddy." James Brister is a member of the Sixers' "Revolutionaries" fan group, and is a big hit with the crowds at the Wells Fargo Center.
"Big Daddy" entertains the crowd during timeouts, and distracts opposing players thanks to a number of different techniques at his disposal. Earlier this season, Brister was featured by the NBA in its weekly fan spotlight, and he even serves as something of an unofficial mascot for the 76ers.
4) Clipper Darrell: Los Angeles Clippers
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No list of NBA super fans is complete without Clipper Darrell. Darrell Bailey has been a Los Angeles Clippers' season-ticket holder since the 2000-01 season, and he often leads the crowd in cheers while adorned head-to-toe in Clippers' paraphernalia.
Bailey and the Clippers had a falling out early last year which almost led to the end of the Clipper Darrell era. In short, Bailey was making public appearances using the "Clipper Darrell" name without giving prior notification to team. The two sides eventually reached a settlement, and Bailey continues to make Clippers' games a must-see experience.
5) Spike Lee: New York Knicks
Whether he's getting into it with referees or even opposing players (his multiple dust-ups with Reggie Miller are the stuff of legend), filmmaker Spike Lee is clearly one of the NBA's most passionate supporters.
Rare is the New York Knicks' game where Lee isn't front and center cheering on his boyhood team. Lee's affiliation with the NBA is so tight at this point that the league not only used him in a Christmas Day ad, but also tapped him to direct a commercial featuring Los Angeles' Clippers' point guard Chris Paul.