Athletes and celebrities go hand-in-hand. They go to together like peanut butter and jelly. One of the benefits of being a high profile celebrity is that affords you the opportunity to attend big time sporting events. How many times have you turned on a Los Angeles Lakers game and seen Jack Nicholson sitting courtside or turned on a boxing match and seen any number of A-list celebrities sitting ringside?
The fame and fortune of being a celebrity doesn't just get you great seats, but it also allows you to cultivate personal relationships with your favourite sport's biggest stars. Conversely, being a big name athlete gives a chance to buildlong lasting relationships with your favorite singers, movie stars or other celebrity types. It also allows you to expand your personal brand beyond your sport and into other avenues through those relationships.
There have been a number of high profile relationships between athletes and celebrities over the years. Some of those relationships were strictly platonic, but many of them were much more intimate. New York Yankees legend Joe DiMaggio's marriage to American sweetheart Marilyn Monroe may be the most well known athlete-celebrity relationship. Although their marriage was quite brief, the two remained friends for several years, until Monroe's death.
Not all relationships between celebrities and athletes can remain positive though. Sometimes good friendships turn sour leading to bitter feuds. Some feuds between athletes and celebrities can develop even when the two parties have no existing relationship.Sometimes two sides just share different beliefs, opinions, and philosophies that result in public battles. No matter what the reason is for a dispute between a celebrity and an athlete it can often be played out in public. Here's a look at the top 15 confrontations between athletes and celebrities:
15 Merrill Hoge and Josh Duhamel
Former NFL running back and current ESPN analyst Merril Hoge has never been a fan of former Broncos quarterback Tim Tebow. Hoge has been a critic of Tebow since he was drafted and once claimed that the quarterback was "as phony as a three dollar bill." In 2012, with Peyton Manning starring as the Broncos new quarterback and Tebow falling down the New York Jets depth chart, Hoge tweeted, ""Any bronco fan still think they would be better with Tebow? I've not heard much noise lately? Curious??"
Enter actor Josh Duhamel to defend Tebow's honor. Duhamel shot back at Hoge with a tweet of his own. "hey merril. Josh Duhamel here. Wondering why you're such a jealous b***h about Tebow? He's 10x the player you were." The feud between the two didn't go beyond that.
14 Lance Armstrong and Conan O'Brien
Yesterday was the longest day of the year, unless you count the time I interviewed Lance Armstrong.
— Conan O'Brien (@ConanOBrien) June 22, 2010
The confrontation between late night host Conan O'Brien and disgraced cyclist Lance Armstrong was a brief, but comedic one. In 2010 O'Brien tweeted, "Yesterday was the longest day of the year, unless you count the time I interviewed Lance Armstrong." Armstrong didn't take too kindly to the jab, replying with "All you wanted to talk about was riding bikes and shaving your legs. It was, uh, slightly freaky."
13 Kobe & Vanessa Bryant and Drake
In the 2011 Rick Ross track "Stay Schemin" Canadian rapper Drake took a shot at Los Angeles Lakers guard Kobe Bryant and his impending divorce to wife Vanessa. Vanessa was not too pleased and called out Drake for his hurtful comments through a post on her instagram account. Drake apologized and the two sides seem to have moved on from the incident. The Bryants reconciled their differences and called off their divorce in 2013.
12 Kobe Bryant and Mark Cuban
Always one with an opinion, the owner of the Dallas Mavericks, Mark Cuban, stated in February of 2013 that he thought the aging Los Angeles Lakers should use their amnesty clause on Kobe Bryant to rid themselves of his more than $30 million in salary. A few days later Bryant responded by scoring 38 points with 12 rebounds and six assists in a win over Cuban's Mavericks. He then tweeted out, "Amnesty THAT". Cuban gave Bryant props for his timely tweet and also tweeted, "Nice to know there is a least one team and their players, outside of the Mavs, that listen to everything I say."
11 Dez Bryant and Lil Wayne
In January of 2012 Dallas Cowboys wide receiver Dez Bryant was involved in a fight with rapper Lil' Wayne and his entourage outside of a Miami nightclub. The fight began over an unpaid debt Bryant had to Endurance Capital Fund, a New York based finance company. The company had ties to Lil' Wayne's record label, Young Money Entertainment, and Bryant was said to have owed them $50,000 of a $100,000 loan that was over a year past due. Bryant was handcuffed by police following in the incident, but was released without being arrested.
10 Shaquille O'Neal and Skillz
In 2004 Shaquille O'Neal appeared on rapper DJ Sickamore's track Drop Another Day with the lyrics "I don't care how mad your skills is, you can't serve me. You don't like Deez? Take off my throwback jersey!" Shaq's lyrics were aimed at the rapper Skillz any many believed they were a response to Skillz' previous shots at Shaq's former Lakers teammate Kobe Bryant and the rape allegations that surrounded him. Skillz responded to Shaq's diss by releasing not just one track, but an entire mixtape directed at the NBA star titled Street Wars: The Finals (Skillz vs. Shaq).
9 Floyd Mayweather and Rick Ross
Boxing champ Floyd Mayweather's confrontation with rapper Rick Ross may be due in part to Mayweather's longtime friendship with Ross' rival, 50 Cent. On the 2009 track “Mafia Music” Ross took a jab at Mayweather's trouble with the IRS with the lyrics,“That Mayweather money looking funny in the light”. Mayweather responded in interviews by mocking Ross' career as a corrections officer, “If I need someone arrested, I’ll call him.”
Ross released another track called “Go” in which he continued to criticize the boxer, but the two have since become friends. Prior to Mayweather's much anticipated 2015 fight with Manny Pacquiao, Ross sent him 200 bottles of Luc Belaire.
8 CM Punk and Chris Brown
Singer Chris Brown is known in large part for his 2009 assault of former girlfriend, Rihanna. So when he took home a Grammy Award in 2012 many people were irked, including WWE Superstar CM Punk who tweeted that he wanted to "stomp" Brown. Brown replied by accusing Punk of using steroids. Punk then posted a video in which he called Brown a "sad, cowardly little boy" and challenged him to a fight with proceeds going to women's shelter. The bout never materialized and the feud pretty much died there.
7 Mike Tyson and LL Cool J
In the 1990s boxer Mike Tyson and rapper LL Cool J were good friends, but the two later drifted apart. In the late 90s LL Cool J got into a feud with fellow rapper Canibus. The feud began when Canibus took a shot at the tattoo of a microphone on LL Cool J's arm on LL Cool J's own track, 4,3,2,1. LL Cool J had Canibus re-record his lyrics and then dissed the rapper in the final version of the song. On Canibus' debut album he released a track titled 2nd round KO which insulted LL Cool J and featured Tyson providing him with words of encouragement. The song's music video showed Tyson preparing Canibus for a boxing match. LL Cool J fired back at the two with Ripper Strikes Back a track that ripped into Tyson for being a “convicted rapist” and an “ear biter”.
6 Floyd Mayweather and 50 Cent
As previously stated, Mayweather and rapper "50 Cent" were friends for some time. 50 Cent accompanied Mayweather to the ring on many occasions. However, after Mayweather's 2012 trip to prison on domestic assault charges, the two began feuding. 50 Cent claimed the boxer owed him $2 million and the two criticized each other over social media for months. In the summer of 2014, 50 Cent attacked Mayweather's reading abilities and offered to donate $75,000 to charity if the boxing champ could read a single page from a Harry Potter book.
Mayweather and 50 Cent have since buried the hatchet and prior to the fight with Pacquiao, 50 Cent posted his support for his "brother" on Instagram.
5 Sabastian Telfair and Fabolous
In 2006, former NBA guard Sabastian Telfair was robbed outside of Sean "Diddy" Combs' New York club, Justin's. Men who were believed to be friends of rapper Fabolous snatched a $50,000 chain from Telfair's neck. Shortly thereafter, Telfair was seen talking on his cell phone and 23 minutes later, Fabolous was shot in the thigh by an unknown assailant outside of the club. Both Telfair and Fabolous denied any wrongdoing.
4 Kris Humphries and Kim Kardashian
The Kardashians are a destructive family who have no problem manipulating others for television ratings. One example of this is Kim Kardashian's brief marriage to NBA forward Kris Humphries. The two married in 2011 in a wedding ceremony that was filmed for Keeping Up with the Kardashians and made Kim $2 million richer. Humphries' character was denigrated on the show and Kim leaked to the media that he was a “cancer” and a “manipulative, vindictive, petty, fame-hungry jerk”.
On October 31, 2011, after just 72 days of marriage, Kim filed for divorce and Humphries heard about it on the news. Humphries subsequently filed for an annulment or a legal separation, citing fraud. A producer of the reality show, Russell Jay, testified in the divorce proceedings that at least two scenes were staged to make Humphries look bad. The divorce was finalized in 2013.
3 Paul Pierce and Benzino
In September of 2000, Boston Celtics small forward Paul Pierce was attacked at a nightclub by a group of men who allegedly had ties to Made Men, a rap group that featured Boston artist Benzino. Pierce was stabbed 11 times in the face, neck , and back and hit over the head with a bottle. He still managed to play all 82 games that season.
Benzino has since denied any involvement in the stabbing saying, "People gotta understand that Boston is such a small community that if everybody goes out to the same nightclub, and something happens, my name… was like the biggest name to call out when something goes on. It was a situation where there was a fight, an incident, and Paul, unfortunately had got hurt within the scuffle. I can say that I had nothing to do with it.”
2 Lamar Odom and Khloe Kardashian
There's no greater example of the Kardashians' destructive behavior than that of the relationship between Khloe Kardashian and Lamar Odom. The couple began dating in 2009 and married one month later. Odom joined Keeping Up with the Kardashians, but after they both filed for divorce in 2013, he begged to no longer be a part of the show. Khloe refused to comply and continued to use their phone conversations as part of her storyline. In an October, 2015 episode, Odom contacted Khloe after his best friend died and she used the conversation to humiliate him while feigning concern for the camera.
A short time later, a distraught Odom was found unconscious in a Nevada brothel with a number of drugs in his sytem. While the former Lakers forward clung to his life, the Kardashians jumped at the opportunity to monetize Odom's awful state and brought cameras to the hospital to film the situation. Odom remains in a Las Vegas hospital with possible brain damage while Khloe Kardashian continues to promote herself with stories like how "emotionally draining" it is to balance being famous, dating another basketball star - James Harden - and "caring" for her estranged husband.
1 Reggie Miller and Spike Lee
When it comes to celebrity and athletes confrontations there's none bigger than one involving former Indiana Pacer Reggie Miller and filmmaker Spike Lee. As a fan and New York Knicks season ticket holder, Lee had a court-side view of the Knicks' 1994 Eastern Conference final matchup with the Pacers. With the series tied at two, the Pacers trailed 70-58 heading into the fourth quarter of the series' fifth game, but Lee's constant taunting from the sidelines set a fire under Miller. Miller took over the game scoring 25 fourth quarter points and stared down Lee after almost every basket. At one point Miller looked at Lee while grabbing his throat to convey that the Knicks were choking and also grabbed his crotch. The following game, Lee made the trip to Indiana and sat court-side to cheer the Knicks to victory. He would get the last laugh that year as the Knicks won the series 4-3.
The Knicks and Pacers met again in the second round of the 1995 playoffs. The Knicks led Game 1 by a score of 105-99 with less than 17 seconds remaining, but Miller once again took over. Miller hit a three pointer, then stole the inbounds pass and hit another quick three. Knicks guard John Starks was fouled, but missed both free throws and after Patrick Ewing missed on the rebound, Miller grabbed the ball and was fouled. Miller once again taunted Spike Lee before nailing both free throws for eight points in less than nine seconds of play. The Pacers won the game 107-105 and went on to win the series in seven games.
The Miller/Lee feud seems to have all been in good fun as the two have been friends for years, but the fact that their confrontation was so memorable and played out on live television for all of the world to see, make it the number one confrontation between celebrities and athletes.