For some reason, celebrities seem to love basketball above and beyond other sports. I have a theory on why that might be: Not only is the sport quite popular in both New York and Los Angeles, but the indoor, controlled environment in which the game is played allows celebs to dress up and look good because they know they'll be photographed. That seems to be especially true of female basketball fans; we've noticed that everyone from Cameron Diaz to Kim Kardashian shows up at basketball games dressed to the nines, and more importantly, carrying great bags.
We've looked through the courtside seats of some of the country's biggest NBA teams to find all the amazing handbags that celebs have toted to basketball games, and today, with the start of college basketball's March Madness and the NBA playoffs on the horizon, seemed like an appropriate time to share our findings. Even if you don't like the game, it might be worth it to get some Knicks or Lakers tickets just to bag-watch.
First, it seems like we should acknowledge the stars who are tried-and-true basketball fans - the ones who go so often that they're clearly not just there to be photographed. Kaley Cuoco seems to be a huge Lakers fan, but we only caught her courtside handbag choice once with this Chanel Cerf Tote.
On the East Coast, Michelle Trachtenberg often heads up the Knicks cheering section. This Gucci Limited Edition New York Boston Bag is quite appropriate for showing her support. Shop Gucci via Gucci.com.
Michelle's Chanel Classic Flap seems like a very New York choice.
Michelle's Louis Vuitton Monogram Flocage Speedy, which she carried on the way into a Knicks game at Madison Square Garden, is among my favorite versions of the classic Vuitton bag.
Vuitton is quite popular at NBA games, actually - here's Gabrielle Union (who dates basketball superstar Dwyane Wade) carrying a Louis Vuitton Mahina XL Tote.
Smash star Katharine McPhee toted a Louis Vuitton Monogram Vernis Brea Bag out of a Knicks game.
Lil Wayne's ex-ladyfriend Dhea sported a special version of the Louis Vuitton Monogram Lockit.
One of the best parts about basketball games is that the paps encounter celebs they may not otherwise seek out, like Kathy Bates, who carried a Louis Vuitton Denim Neo Speedy.
Givenchy is also a surprisingly big hit among famous hoops fans. Cameron Diaz carried a Givenchy Nightingale Bag to cheer on the Lakers. Buy through Barneys for $2,020.
Khloe Kardashian (much more from her later) also carried a Givenchy Nightingale Bag back when hubby Lamar Odom was a Laker. Buy through Barneys for $2,020.
Ciara, who frequents NBA games, has a definite thing for the Givenchy Antigona Bag. Buy through Bergdorf Goodman for $2,405.
Here's Ciara again - different game, different Givenchy Antigona Bag. Buy through Bergdorf Goodman for $2,405.
January Jones also likes the Givenchy Antigona Bag as a courtside option. Buy through Bergdorf Goodman for $2,405.
For a different game, January switched up her Givenchy for a Marni Studded Shoulder Bag. Shop Marni bags via Net-a-Porter.
Charlize Theron is a true original, or at least the only celeb we spotted with Bottega Veneta. Her bag of choice was the Bottega Veneta Stone Antique Ostrich Perles Bag. Shop Bottega Veneta via Net-a-Porter.
Talk about a blast from the past - here's Megan Fox toting a Chloe Paddington Bag. Buy through Barneys for $2,195.
Gossip Girl alum Jessica Szohr also toted a throwback It Bag to see the Lakers - hers was a Marc Jacobs Stam Bag. Buy for $1,395 via Neiman Marcus.
Regina King chose to keep things casual with a green Marc by Marc Jacobs Doctor Q Groovee Satchel. Shop Marc by Marc Jacobs via ShopBop.
Howard Stern's wife Beth hid her Dior Lady Dior Bag under her seat.
You can barely see it, but I'm 100% sure that Sophia Bush is carrying a Proenza Schouler PS1 at this game. Why? Because I have one in the exact same print and I'd recognize it anywhere. Shop Proenza Schouler at ProenzaSchouler.com.
Jessica Alba isn't as much of a frequent flier at Lakers games as some of the celebs on this list, but we like her Prada Spazzolato Tote so much that it doesn't even matter. Shop Prada via Neiman Marcus.
Rihanna, on the other hand, takes in a lot of basketball. We're particularly partial to this lemon yellow Devi Kroell Python Hobo.
For a more neutral approach, Rihanna sported this Fendi Mia Zucca Shoulder Bag. Shop Fendi via Neiman Marcus.
I'm not even sure what to say about this old photo of Rihanna outside of an NBA game, other than that she's carrying a Gucci Guccissima Leather Top Handle Satchel. Shop Gucci via Gucci.com.
Can you believe that Jessica Simpson's highly detailed bag is Alexander McQueen? Shop Alexander McQueen via Net-a-Porter.
I wouldn't have pegged Pamela Anderson as a Goyard fan, but there you go. She carried this Goyard Jeanne Bowling Bag to a Lakers game.
I'm not sure if Christina Aguilera's bag is Christian Louboutin, but her shoes sure are. Shop Christian Louboutin via Net-a-Porter.
La La Anthony media personality and wife of Knicks star Carmelo Anthony, toted an Alexander Wang Jane Bag in chic leopard to a game. Shop Alexander Wang via ShopBop.
Cheryl Burke of Dancing with the Stars is a Lakers fan, even if her Valentino Rockstud Dome Satchel is more of a Clippers color. Buy the pink version for $1,995 via Nordstrom.
Often, stars carry to games exactly what they carry everywhere else, like Lauren Conrad with her Balenciaga City Bag in white. Buy through Neiman Marcus for $1,545.
Kourtney Kardashian is the least basketball-loving of the Kardashian sisters, but she does attend games occasionally. This time, she carried a Balenciaga City Bag. Buy through Neiman Marcus for $1,545.
Nicole Richie is also a fan of the Balenciaga-and-basketball look, if her Balenciaga City Bag is any indication. Buy through Neiman Marcus for $1,545.
It makes me nervous to see Julia Louis-Dreyfus put her ivory Lanvin Amalia Shoulder Bag so close to food trash, let alone on the ground! Buy through Neiman Marcus for $2,490.
The Tod's D-Styling Satchel is perfect for Hilary Swank's laid-back style. Buy through Nordstrom for $1,845.
Tom Hanks and Rita Wilson, carrying a Stella McCartney Falabella Tote, are quite dressed up for a basketball game. Buy through Neiman Marcus for $1,195.
This Valentino bag makes sense when you consider Eva Longoria's ladylike aesthetic. Shop Valentino via Neiman Marcus.
Where there are celebs these days, there are inevitably Celine bags. Knicks fan Kate Upton sported this bicolor Celine Luggage Tote to a game last year.
NBA regular (and NBA wife) Khloe Kardashian carried a very similar bicolor Celine Luggage Tote to see the Clippers play.
Not to be outdone, Upton responded with a Celine Classic Box Bag.
Mama Kris Jenner is also in on some of the Celine action with this black and white Celine Doctor Bag.
Khloe, though, is the most committed to the Celine look. She has not one Celine Trapeze Tote...
I'm not saying Terrell Owens is carrying this bright pink Celine Luggage Tote, but for our purposes, it is sitting quite close to his feet.
We'd be remiss, of course, if we didn't document the many Chanel bags that find their way to basketball games, including this Chanel Quilted Satchel carried by Kim Kardashian several years ago.
Emma Stone got in on the Chanel fun with a Chanel Quilted Bag. (It has the back pocket of a Classic Flap, but the handle attachment is different?)
Toni Braxton paired her enormous Chanel Quilted Bowler with a Lakers hat.
Angela Simmons carried her Chanel Coco Cocoon Tote to watch the Knicks.
Avril Lavigne headed into a Lakers game with a huge Chanel Logo Tote? Sure, why not.
Kyle Richards and her niece Nicky Hilton carried matching red Chanel Flap Bags to sit courtside at a Lakers game.
We'll kick off our long line of courtside Hermes Birkins with Laura Govan of Basketball Wives. How appropriate.
Kyle Richards goes very few places without her trusty black Hermes Birkin.
From here on out, it's all Kardashians and their Birkins. Kris Jenner leads the pack with a stunning black crocodile Hermes Birkin. (Is it the So Black version? I can't tell in this lighting.)
Kim Kardashian went to see the Knicks with this dark grey Hermes Birkin.
Even the family's youngest members are getting in on the Hermes Birkin game, like Kendall Jenner with this brown version.
At basketball games, though, Khloe Kardashian totally balls out with her bags. We've already discussed her Givenchy and Celine choices, but her Birkins are the best. Check out this awesome blue version.
Neutral Hermes Birkins? Khloe's got that covered.
Best of all, though, is Khloe's bright, citrusy yellow Hermes Birkin.