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??"
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
13 Kobe & Vanessa Bryant and Drake
12 Kobe Bryant and Mark Cuban
11 Dez Bryant and Lil Wayne
10 Shaquille O'Neal and Skillz
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.”
8 CM Punk and Chris Brown
7 Mike Tyson and LL Cool J
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.
5 Sabastian Telfair and Fabolous
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”.
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.
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.
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.
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