Kanye is pretty well-known for his music, wild opinions, and Twitter rants, but he’s also known for sitting courtside at a lot of NBA games.
Kanye West’s favorite basketball team is the Chicago Bulls. Having raised in Chicago, it comes as no surprise that his favorite team is the Bulls. Growing up, West would have seen all of the Chicago Bulls heyday-wins with Michael Jordan as their star player. Kanye has performed at NBA games and also attended the All-Star game.
You can read more below about the Chicago Bulls seasons that Kanye would have grown up watching, his basketball career, and his criticism of the league.
The Chicago Bulls of Kanye’s Childhood
Kanye West was born in 1977 in Atlanta, Georgia, and moved to Chicago at the age of three-years-old with his mother after his parents divorced. His mother moved them to Chicago because she was offered the position of Chair of the English Department at Chicago State University.
While Kanye was growing up in Chicago, the Bulls were enjoying what is now known as the Michael Jordan and Phil Jackson era. It was 1980 when Yeezy moved to the city and four years later the Bulls had the third-round pick in the 1984 draft.
They were able to secure the shooting guard who had made the game-winning jump shot of the 1982 NCAA Championship game. He was a player known only as Michael Jordan.
This draft pick proved to be the best move that they could have made because the team’s new manager, Jerry Reinsdorf saw the potential of Jordan and he built the team up around their new draft pick.
In his rookie year, Jordan led the team from being the second-worst team in the league to landing a spot in the 1985 NBA Playoffs. He won the Rookie of the Year Award.
In the following years, the Chicago Bulls were consistently able to qualify for the playoffs and soon became one of the best teams in the league. Michael Jorda was consistently nabbing the title of the league’s Season MVP or Top Scorer, sometimes both.
By the 1989 NBA Playoffs, they were able to make it into the Eastern Conference Final. Then, finally, in the 1991 NBA Playoffs, the Chicago Bulls won their very first Championship Title, twenty-five years after the founding of the team.
You can watch Kanye West performing his song ‘All Day’ at a Bulls playoff game in the below video.
Kanye Played High School Basketball
In a 2013 interview with The New York Times’ Jon Caramanica, Yeezy went on one of his famous rants where he called himself the Michael Jordan of Music. He also gave a lot of insight into his relentless hard work and dedication to anything he does.
This of course was by letting Caramanica know that he wanted to be on the basketball team in seventh grade. In his story, he said that he wanted to be on the team and he tried out but didn’t make the cut.
So in order to make the cut the next year, he played on a summer team as the point guard, and they won the championship. Then he tried out for the eighth-grade team and, after making all the shots, he still didn’t make the team.
Of course, with this story, Kanye was making the point that he’s been good at what he does his entire life and that he’ll call out his critics no matter what. Just as he tried to call out the eighth-grade basketball coach for cutting him from the team.
He goes on to say that he made it onto the junior basketball team when he was in his freshman year of high school. So he knew that it was the coach’s own prejudice.
Kanye West’s Outlandish Criticism of the NBA
Yeezy has been in the spotlight of mental health for a long time now due to his struggles with Bipolar Disorder. He began telling interviewers about his struggles with the disorder in 2018.
Due to his mental health, there have been numerous public incidents where Kanye has seemed to fly off the handle.
In September of 2020, he tweeted “I’m not gonna watch my people be enslaved. I’m putting my life on the line for my people. The music industry and the NBA are modern-day slave ships. I’m the new Moses.”
This was the first time he really criticized the NBA and his tweet was widely ignored by the NBA community. Earlier in 2020, family and friends said that West was having a Bipolar episode.