MSG vs. Barclays Center: Which celebrities choose Knicks over Nets?

Celebrity sightings are on the rise at the city’s biggest venues as live events begin returning to New York City.

And, of course, NBA fans are front and center where the action happens.

Classic NYC arena Madison Square Garden and Brooklyn’s Barclays Center have both hosted a bevy of A-listers in recent weeks as coronavirus restrictions begin to ease.

The 19,000-capacity Barclays Center — which finally opened in 2012 after years of controversy, backlash and legal issues — has previously hosted a wide variety of happenings but has recently had a calendar solely populated by sports.

Madison Square Garden, which can seat over 20,000 guests when not restricted by coronavirus-related safety precautions, increasingly has a more diverse array of evenings planned, including live music, as COVID-19’s stronghold on NYC ebbs. The garden was built in 1968, making it NYC’s oldest major sporting facility.

Here’s a look at which personalities have been spotted at the Midtown Knicks stage — and which have spent their time at the home of the Brooklyn Nets. 

Film director Spike Lee, 64, and comedian Tracy Morgan, 52, were spotted at Madison Square Garden for Game 1 of the NBA playoffs on Sunday, May 23. Former “The Daily Show” host Jon Stewart, 58, was also in attendance.

Anya Taylor-Joy and her guests were rushed into the New York Knicks game at Madison Square Garden on May 23, 2021.

Brian Prahl / MEGA

Celebrities Attend Game 1 of NBA Playoffs New York Knicks VS Atlanta Hawks at Madison Square Garden

Anya Taylor-Joy at Game 1 of the NBA playoffs at Madison Square Garden.

Michael Simon/

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Actress Anya Taylor-Joy, known for starring in Netflix’s “The Queen’s Gambit,” was also at the Sunday game which followed her stint hosting “Saturday Night Live.” The 25-year-old and her guests were rushed into the stadium as fans crowded her out front, seeking autographs.

Meanwhile, in Brooklyn last weekend, former New York Giants wide receiver Victor Cruz, 34, enjoyed a Brooklyn Nets game at the Barclays Center with his daughter, Kennedy Cruz.

Also in attendance at the Saturday game in the outer borough was fellow former Giant Michael Strahan, 49, and his partner Kayla Quick, 31.

Former Giants football defensive end Justin Tuck, 38, and his wife Lauran Williamson Tuck, also attended the game, which the Nets won.

Elsewhere in the crowd at MSG on Sunday were actress and producer Mary-Kate Olsen, 34, actor Michael J. Fox, 59, and his wife, actress Tracy Pollan, 60.

Actress Mariska Hargitay, 57, also cheered on with her son. The two sat next to fellow parental pair Ben Stiller, 55, and his son.

Newlywed couple Sofia Pernas, 31, of “Blood & Treasure,” and soap-opera star Justin Hartley, 44, were also pictured together at the game.

Actor-director Ed Burns, 53, was also spotted at the stadium sporting a Knicks shirt and cap, while singer Christopher Jackson was photographed mid-pretzel bite at the concessions stand.

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