These days, the only fans allowed in the building at pro sporting events are virtual or cardboard.
If the 2020 newsmakers listed below could pick the cardboard cutouts in their personal cheering sections, some famous faces would probably be among them.
Even before LeBron James moved to La La Land and began playing in front of celebrities every home game, he had a history of playing his best in front of his most famous fans:
Jay-Z and Beyoncé: The Undefeated’s Justin Tinsley analyzed box scores from games throughout James’ career for which celebrities were present and found that James won a lot, especially in front of Jay-Z (19-11 from 2003 to ’17).
Chris Bosh: James and Bosh won back-to-back titles together in 2012 and ’13.
Amy Schumer: James made his big-screen debut in “Trainwreck,” which Schumer wrote and starred in.
Jack Nicholson: The Oscar winner is one of the Los Angeles Lakers’ most dedicated celebrity fans. James went 6-1 in front of Nicholson before coming to L.A.
Dwyane Wade: James’ former teammate and best buddy can’t be left out.
The No. 1 pick in the this year’s WNBA draft got off to a solid start to her rookie season but suffered a Grade 3 ankle sprain in her third game with the New York Liberty. When she returns, these folks will surely be watching.
Kelly Graves: The Oregon head coach oversaw Ionescu’s record-breaking college career.
Satou Sabally: Ionescu faced off against her former Oregon teammate in the second game of her WNBA career.
Phil Knight: The Nike co-founder and Oregon booster inked Ionescu to an apparel deal that will make her the first WNBA player with a signature shoe.
Damian Lillard: The Portland Trail Blazers guard and fellow Oregon hero was one of several NBA players who texted Ionescu after her WNBA debut last week.
Stephen Curry: The Golden State Warriors guard dubbed Ionescu the “walking double-double” and brought his daughters to watch her play in a game at Stanford last year.
Nadia Comaneci: Ionescu is one of the most famous athletes of Romanian descent since Comaneci, a five-time Olympic gold medalist in gymnastics.
Rob Gronkowski and Tom Brady
New England sports fans got to know Gronk and Brady well over the past decade. The two have moved on to play together in Tampa Bay, but there’s no doubt that they made fans for life out of these stars:
Ben Affleck: The longtime Boston sports guy has never been shy about his belief that Brady is the greatest football player of all time. The two have been friends since Brady’s