So Jack Harlow is gunning for the top NBA celebrity fan award. It’s clear with him taking logo threes during the celebrity all star game, recording singles about Tyler Herro, and getting advice from Kawhi Leonard about how to improve his game. Part of the charm of the NBA is the celebrities in courtside seats, under the basket, easily visible, and part of the game in their own way.
While it’s a good thing that Harlow is such a big fan of the league, he needs to learn some of the finer points about being a high profile NBA fan. I would say that yesterday he was one 1-3, and one of his misses needs to be replayed to him over and over again so he never attempts a shot like that again.
Harlow was in attendance at Game 1 of the Boston Celtics and Milwaukee Bucks semifinal series. That might be the “true hoop fan,” pick of a game to attend. It’s on the east coast and it’s the Celtics, one of the hottest teams in the NBA, with their group of young stars going up against possibly the best player in the NBA in Giannis Antetokounmpo. Not a bad choice from a basketball perspective, but dude you’re supposed to be a hip hop artist. Don’t be the only celebrity at a Boston Celtics game.
That’s not to say that there’s no hip hop scene in Boston. Gang Starr was excellent (Ed. note: Because Premier is from Brooklyn!) Joyner Lucas has had some success. Bobby Brown and Bell Biv DeVoe are legends. That being said, if you’re not from Boston, Game 1 of the semifinals isn’t the time to make the visit to Beantown for a team that is decidedly not rocked with in the culture. The NBA Finals would, of course, be excusable — as would the Eastern Conference Finals — and even if this series goes the distance, Game 7 would be a great one to attend. But Harlow, you’re already about to play the Woody Harrelson character in a White Men Can’t Jump reboot. Let’s be careful hanging out at games of teams whose cap would never be seen in a music video.
Harlow’s win was having some fun at his own expense. His fanbase isn’t anywhere near NBA referee age, so unless they allow their grandchildren to control the aux cord in the car, they’re not going to know who Harlow is. Scott Foster — who shouldn’t be anywhere near a Celtics game after fouling Jayson Tatum out of their last one — pointed out to one of the other refs that Harlow was in the crowd. Neither of them had any idea why Harlow is famous.
He saw it as an opportunity to make a joke at his own expense. Harlow was told that he looks like Mr. Tummus from The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion the Witch and the Wardrobe. He quote-tweeted a video that ESPN sent out of that mic’d up moment during the broadcast and wrote, “Clearly these mfs have never seen Narnia.” Clever, even if I had to scroll down the replies to get the joke.
What most certainly wasn’t clever was him playing a joke on a camera operator. The cameras that broadcast the games are humongous so there were a bunch of switches exposed. Here, Harlow did the thing that is being demanded that fans stop more than anything else, he did not keep his hands to himself.
Harlow took it upon himself to play with some of the knobs on the back of the camera, knowing that the person focused on their job and wearing headphones won’t feel or hear him messing with things he has no business touching. I know he’s only 24, but while young enough to still make many terrible decisions, this is something that is supposed to be out of a person’s behavior by puberty. Don’t bother people at work, and don’t go around pressing buttons and flipping switches and touching things that don’t belong to you. He would not appreciate it if that cameraperson pulled Jerry Seinfeld and retaliated by heckling him at work, or in this case pressing random buttons on the mix board while he’s trying to record. The cameraperson had a sense of humor about the situation when she found out what happened. She doesn’t want much from Harlow in return, just a snack with possibly some honey mustard sauce.
Harlow did not publicly apologize, however, he is on the record saying that he’s got her on the chicken fingers. Public, don’t you let him off the hook for this. She needs a basket of 12 with extra sauce and a note.
Overall, Harlow’s NBA fandom has been a plus. The game has always been at its best when celebs are close to the game literally and figuratively, making the games giant pop culture events. Now, he just needs to select better games, and keep his hands on his refreshments unless his arm is going around a fan who wants a picture or some dap hugs with the players after the game.
The NBA is better with you around Jack, you just need to act right.