Philadelphia 76ers co-owner Michael Rubin struck up a close friendship with Meek Mill over the past couple of years. In fact, the two recently partnered with JAY-Z and leaders across different industries to announce a new criminal justice reform organization called REFORM Alliance, altogether pledging $50 million to the cause. In a new interview with the Breakfast Club, Rubin talked about how the two came to be friends.
"So it was just a fluke of a fluke," Rubin said at the 20:25 point of the interview. "We were at the All-Star Game maybe five years ago, and my daughter at that point was a fan of Nicki [Minaj], and he and Nicki were sitting next to us." Charlamagne, (jokingly?) unclear as to who Rubin was referring to, asked, "Who's Nicki?" Immediately, Rubin responded, "Nicki Minaj." Pausing for a moment, he joked, "I feel the same way, by the way."
The two started talking after Rubin's daughter got talking with Nicki, with Meek recognizing him as "the Sixers guy." Continuing with the story, he explained, "What I loved about Meek from the moment I met him, he just started peppering me with business questions. ... In a lot of ways he was a similar version of me from a completely different environment."
While they weren't immediately close friends, Rubin said Meek started to hang out at the game more after they started to talk. "We became friendly and one night—we'd hung out at the games maybe 10 times, and we were at halftime... and I'll remember this for the rest of my life. I said, 'I'm going with some friends to the Borgata [in Atlantic City] afterward, you want to come?' He said, 'I'm not allowed.' I'm like, 'Do you need permission from your mom?'" At this point in time, Rubin admitted that he didn't really know a whole lot about being on probation, not realizing that Meek couldn't legally leave Philly.
Rubin later asked Mill what got him on probation in the first place, confused as to why he was still on it after all this time. "He's like, 'Michael, if a black person points a gun at multiple cops, they're dead, period. End of story.' He told me that the first time I met him on the court but I didn't really think about it," he added. Upon becoming closer friends with him, Rubin said he made it his mission to help out Meek in his case against his "crazy judge."
When the probation hearing came up in 2017, Rubin said he offered to write a letter for Meek. He later went to his probation hearing, detailing just how much the judge on the case had it out for the rapper. "I looked at him and I'm like, 'I will not stop until you're out of prison, and she's off the bench.'" From there, Rubin knew he had to do whatever he could to help campaign for prison reform. When asked if the judge had sued him, he said, "I wish she would."
Rubin has always made it his business to support Meek, famously renting a helicopter to make sure the rapper could show up to the Sixers' playoff game last April after getting released. Talk about a beautiful friendship.
This weekend Meek and his CHAMPIONSHIPS collaborator Cardi B will perform at a pre-Super Bowl party hosted by Rubin. The show, which is invitation only, will be held at the College Football Hall of Fame. Kevin hart, Jamie Foxx, and Gucci Mane are expected to attend.