Why was there an 80-pound dog sitting courtside at Lakers game next to Kevin Bacon?

Brodie The Goldendoodle enjoy courtside seats at the Lakers vs Knicks game.
Brodie the Goldendoodle sits courtside in the lap of his owner, Cliff Brush Jr., and next to actor Kevin Bacon (in black glasses) as the Lakers play the Knicks on Monday at Crypto.com Arena. (Allen J. Schaben / Los Angeles Times)
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Brodie is a social media sensation.

He's a great dancer.

Most importantly, he's a good boy.

And, apparently, he's a basketball fan. The 80-pound canine internet star known as Brodie the Goldendoodle (or by the handle @BrodieThatDood) sat courtside at the Lakers-Knicks game on Monday night at Crypto.com Arena, sharing a seat with his human best friend Cliff Brush Jr.

"A recurring theme we heard all night — from the announcers, the refs, the season-ticket holders who’ve been there for 20-plus years — everyone was saying they’ve never seen this before their entire life," Brush told The Times in a phone interview Tuesday. "So it definitely seemed like a first. Maybe there’s been little dogs that people just don’t even notice, but you can’t miss Brodie.”

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Brush said he cleared Brodie's visit with arena security beforehand, but knew the large dog wouldn't cause any problems. Sitting on Brush's lap or underneath his seat snuggled against the legs of his best bud, Brodie remained right next to the on-court action the entire game without incident, Brush said.

“I have no worries. I trust him 100%," said Brush, who lives with Brodie in Fort Lauderdale, Fla. "As long as he’s with me, he’s gonna be well behaved and in control. Yeah, I don’t worry about him ’cause he’s a good boy.”

Cliff Brush Jr. hugs Brodie the Goldendoodle as they sit courtside at the Lakers-Knicks game.
Cliff Brush Jr. hugs Brodie the Goldendoodle as they sit courtside at the Lakers-Knicks game. Brodie, a social media sensation, likes to sign "paw-tographs" for his fans, Brush said. (Allen J. Schaben/Los Angeles Times)

The 4-year-old Brodie is a service animal who is trained to behave well in any circumstances. Brush started featuring Brodie in social media posts that became so popular that the former accountant was able to quit his job and become a full-time content creator. Across all platforms, Brush said, he and Brodie have around 15 million followers.

But there is one clear star in the duo.

“Everywhere we go, Brodie is taking pictures, signing paw-tographs, especially in airports and large crowded places,” Brush said.

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Brodie has thrown out the first pitch — "it's more of a first fetch, I guess," Brush said — at two Florida Marlins games and also attended a Miami Heat game, where he and Brush sat courtside during warmups but moved back a few rows for the actual game.

They came to L.A. for an "Access Hollywood" interview, which was scheduled for Tuesday afternoon, Brush said, and were offered two courtside seats (the other one went to the duo's agent) by Lakers jersey sponsor Bibigo in exchange for a social media post.

At the arena, Brush said, Brodie was recognized by so many fans that they needed a security escort to get to their seats — next to celebrity couple Kevin Bacon and Kyra Sedgwick no less. Knicks shooting guard Josh Hart gave Brodie a shout-out and high-five during pregame warmups, even though the dog was wearing an Austin Reaves jersey.

"By the end of the night, he was pretty much the king of the Jumbotron and running the arena," Brush said of Brodie.

A highlight of the evening, Brush said, was Brodie being named Fan of the Game after winning a dance-off against a human being in the crowd.

“There was a camera, and Brodie knows camera means, ‘Let’s go,’ and just shook his fluffy butt," Brush said of his furry companion, who stands about 4½ feet tall on his hind legs. "And the arena was loving it. Every time they put him on the Jumbotron, it was definitely audibly a difference. It was loud.”

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This story originally appeared in Los Angeles Times.