Who's with me?

Rooting for Houston sports teams puts you in good company

Beyonce always creates a buzz when sitting courtside. Photo by Ray Amati/Getty Images

Watching a big sporting event has plenty of excitement built into the experience, but sharing that energy with another group of people makes the game even more exhilarating and fun, especially when those other people are celebrities. Below is a list of the biggest celebrity Houston sports fans. You might be surprised by how many stars root for Houston teams.

ZZ Top

The most famous beards in music don’t mind checking out the most famous beard in basketball. Dusty Hill, the bassist from the Houston-born band, has been a longtime sharer of Rockets season tickets, according to Texas Monthly. So, seeing him and his bandmates rooting on their beard-mate James Harden isn’t far out of the ordinary.

Paul Wall

After helping bring Houston rap — and Houston "grills" — to the mainstream, Paul Wall remains a big fan of Houston-based teams, including his alma mater, the University of Houston. In 2015, Wall equipped former University of Houston coach Tom Herman with his own set of grills leading up to the Cougars’ win over Florida State in the Chick-Fil-A Peach Bowl. He’s also fitted former Texans Andre Johnson and Arian Foster with personal sets of grills.

But there’s one old Houston athlete he’s got a keen eye on. “I’m a huge baseball fan,” Wall told SBNation.com. “Roger Clemens. That’s my boy. We gotta get Roger a grill. Put the word out, man.”

Chamillionaire

The Chamillitary Man is also a Houston sports fan. The “Ridin’” rapper is a big fan of Houston teams, even though he was spotted sitting courtside during the 2017 NBA Finals to watch Cleveland vs. Golden State. Chamillionaire is a Houston native who comments on Houston teams, especially the Rockets, going so far as to pine for Carmelo Anthony on Twitter.

Joel Olsteen

As one of the world’s most popular pastors, Houston’s own Olsteen isn’t shy about getting into his town’s sports. Olsteen told The Christian Fan he’s “a big Texan fan, mainly,” but he has also been pictured courtside at Rockets games. 

George H. W. Bush

The 41st president of the United States is a big-time Houston sports fan who doesn’t mind coming out to games. His son, 43, George W. Bush, is more of a Rangers fan (he used to own them, after all), but he has attended Texans games with his father, who even did the coin toss for the 2017 Super Bowl at NRG Stadium.

Slim Thug

The Houston rapper hasn’t been shy about his fandom and has become an ambassador of sorts to Houston sports teams. Thug — along with Houston rappers Paul Wall and ZRo — actually made a song devoted to the Texans called “Houston.” The lyrics, “Houston Texas, Home of the Texans,” play over a sample of the NFL on Fox theme music.

The video has over 2,500,000 views on YouTube and features cameos from Texans Brian Cushing and J.J. Watt. Thug is also a Rockets fan and publicly pleaded for Dwight Howard on Twitter when he was a desired free agent back in 2013. The Rockets landed Howard, something we're sure Houston fans are excited to reminisce about.

Jim Parsons

Bazinga! The Big Bang Theory’s own Jim Parsons has grown into quite a Texans fan (though he grew up indifferent to the Oilers) as well as a quasi-recruiter for the Rockets. In 2013, he made an impassioned plea on YouTube to get free agent Dwight Howard to come to Houston. The plea worked, but as many Rockets fans can tell you, Howard did not.

Travis Scott

One of the hottest hip-hop acts in the country, Houston-native Scott has become a popular face at Rockets games. Scott also had James Harden appear (and lip-sync) in his music video “Way Back.” In May, Scott designed shirts for Game 6 of the second round series against San Antonio that had “Run As One” on it. The Rockets were sent home that night, but at least they looked good.

Richard Linklater

Few in the film industry have done more to showcase Houston on screen than Boyhood director and Astro fan Linklater. He played baseball as a teenager, getting an athletic scholarship to Sam Houston State and imagining he’d play for the Astros before he won an Academy Award. He’s also devoted a lot of his movies to baseball, especially his recent feature geared around college baseball, Everybody Wants Some

While he may have happy endings in his movies about baseball, he knows the burden of being an Astros fan is something most people in Houston can relate to. “We just accept our fate. I guess that's the thing about being from the Houston area: We don't have that entitlement. But it's a special fan base," Linklater told ESPN in 2016.

Beyonce

There’s only one Beyonce, and luckily for Houston sports, she reps her teams hard. Beyonce and her husband, Jay-Z, have been spotted courtside of many Rockets games through the years.

Of the Houston teams, the Rockets seem to be her favorite. She reps them on Instagram, wearing hats to leotards. She also dons a James Harden jersey in her video for “No Angel.” Now the only question is, why didn’t she play the Super Bowl in Houston? It remains a mystery.

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The media has mixed feelings about the James Harden trade. Photo by Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images

James Harden was 100-percent exactly right earlier this week when he said the Houston Rockets were "just not good enough."

How could they be? Not when their moody superstar scorer, who makes about half a million dollars per game, shows up chubby, looking like a kielbasa about to explode in the microwave. Hey, some people eat when they're unhappy, it's a defense mechanism. In Harden's case, the only defense he's exhibited this season. At least he had a good excuse for missing pre-season training camp and alienating his teammates - he was busy partying with Cinnamon and Cherish in Atlanta and Vegas without a mask. Worst of all, he went into the tank his last four games in a Rockets uniform, standing around, arms folded, scoring fewer than 20 points each time, all Rockets losses. Fans in the front row were asking him to move, he was blocking their view of players who cared about winning. James Harden sabotaged his own team, a team that offered him $50 million a year to stay. Something that crazy could only happen in professional sports these days.

There's a saying that drives the American labor movement: "a fair day's wage for a fair day's work." It's the motto of the American Federation of Labor. The National Basketball Players Association is not a member. Harden's sulking on the court, cheating the Rockets and their fans, was unforgivable.

Harden, sitting out games while somehow being on the court, forced the Rockets to trade him - and quick - to Brooklyn. The trade, when you ignore the fine print and unindicted co-conspirators Cleveland and Indiana, sent Harden to Brooklyn in exchange for Caris LeVert (immediately flipped for Victor Oladipo), Jarrett Allen, three first-round draft picks and four swapped first-rounders. It's true, when you trade a superstar, you never get back equal value. The other team wins.

If it makes Rockets fans feel any better, the media in New York already has problems with their new problem child. I should say newest problem child. Kyrie Irving plays for the Nets.

"They (the Nets) gave up everybody! There's nothing left now. I just want to cry, It's awful," weeped WFAN Radio talk host Evan Roberts. For those who don't subscribe to weekly Arbitron ratings reports, WFAN is the most powerful, top-rated sports talk station in the Apple.

"You're leading down the road of doom. Harden and Durant could be gone in a year and a half. I'm not convinced this gives them a better chance to win a title. I'm living a nightmare again. They better freaking win."

Circle March 3 on your Rockets schedule. That's when the Brooklyn Nets, with their Big 3 of Kevin Durant, James Harden and possibly Kyrie Irving visit Toyota Center. I hear talk radio salivating over the record jeers that will cascade over Harden's name, although I'm not buying it. Fans don't think like the media does. I'm thinking that Rockets fans will welcome Harden back - one night only - with cheers.

Toyota Center public address announcer Matt Thomas: "Usually when former Rockets come to town for the first time since leaving, I give them a positive introduction. It's up to the fans how to react."

James Harden spent eight seasons with the Rockets. He is a spectacular player who watched other NBA players engineer trades so they could compete for a title. Harden didn't think the Rockets were good enough, and he's right. So he wanted out. We've all been there, a job we didn't like for a company we didn't like, for a boss we didn't respect. Harden wanting to be traded is understandable. How he went about it was deplorable. He hurt his co-workers.

Houston will make Harden pay for his disrespectful departure. He has an upscale restaurant set to open here. The name of the steakhouse will be "13." Harden's business partners may want to change that number ... before the restaurant's telephone number is disconnected. There are plenty of other restaurants in Houston. Rich people who can afford steakhouse prices hold grudges.

Rockets fans searching for a silver lining say, "We got two decent players and a whole bunch of precious first-round picks" for a malcontent who would rather be anywhere (except maybe Sacramento) than Houston." Yes, a bunch of first-round picks does bode well for the future. Anywhere, except maybe Houston.

Houston's draft war room isn't the most successful operation in the NBA. Over the past decade prior to 2000, under the direction of general manager Daryl Morey, the Rockets made 16 draft picks. Not one of them is still in a Rockets uniform, many of them have sought employment outside of America, some outside of basketball. Among their first-round whiffs: Nikola Mirotic, Terrence Jones, Sam Dekker - all out of the league. Best of all, Royce White, who played three whole games in his NBA career and finished with a scoring average of 0.00 points per game.

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