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Jack Nicholson Joins Kobe Bryant in Demanding Trade Jun 22, 2007 - 7:35
Superfan Jack Nicholson tells Lakers, "Talk to the hand."
LOS ANGELES - Jack Nicholson, the most visible fan in Los Angeles Lakers history, has joined Kobe Bryant in demanding to be traded. Speaking to fans in the parking lot of a Los Angeles restaurant last night, the Oscar-winning actor went on a profane tirade that was captured by a cell phone video cam.
In this tirade, which can be viewed in all its profanity on YouTube, Mr. Nicholson accuses Lakers management of not trying hard enough to win and of not surrounding him with the kind of A-list talent he deserves.
"I'm sick and tired of having to be 'the face of the Lakers fans' every damn home game," said Mr. Nicholson. "If I'm too coked up to get down to Staples some night, there should be someone better than Dyan Cannon or Britney Spears to show on the tube."
Even though Mr. Nicholson has paid for his courtside season ticket seats through the 2008-09 season, he said he would rather sell them on eBay than support the Lakers any longer.
Somehow it is hard to imagine Mr. Nicholson being able to figure out the whole eBay thing, especially trying to set up a Paypal merchant services account. Perhaps he should donate the tickets to some poor orphans.
"I'm not going to jump up and down baiting referees and shouting myself hoarse for a team that can't get out of the first round in the playoffs," he said.
Mr. Nicholson's demand for a trade is expected to bring a number of inquiries from around the league, but few teams are in a position to offer the Lakers decent value for him.
With Kobe and Jack demanding trades, will Phil be next?
The Los Angeles Clippers have expressed an interest in Mr. Nicholson, but they would have to give up a lot more than undersized point fan, Billy Crystal, even though Mr. Nicholson wouldn't have to relocate if he went to the Clips.
A Jack-Nicholson-for-Kid-Rock-and-Bob-Seeger deal with Detroit sounds good at first blush, but Detroit is a fading franchise that could be as inept as the Lakers before long, and Mr. Nicholson has made it clear that he wants to end his rooting career with a contender.
San Antonio might be willing to part with Eva Longoria, who is still considered a project by many talent evaluators, but would Tony Parker be willing to let Mr. Nicholson jump into his arms and wrap his legs around him the next time the Spurs win a title?
Only the New York Knicks, who boast filmmaker Spike Lee as their franchise fan and count Alec Baldwin among their supporters, are in a position to structure a viable deal for Mr. Nicholson. Mr. Baldwin is said to be interested in such a trade because he would like to be in Los Angeles, where he could keep tabs better on his daughter, but Mr. Lee has the power to block that deal because he has a rare no-trade clause in his season-ticket contract with the Knicks.
Besides, said one general manager who asked to remain nameless, years of rooting for the Lakers have taken their toll on Mr. Nicholson's legs, and "his lateral movement isn't what it used to be."
Nevertheless, sports talk radio programs around the country were buzzing with speculation this morning. In one of the more popular scenarios being discussed, the New Orleans Hornets execute a sign and trade deal with Brad Pitt, then send him to Los Angeles for Mr. Nicholson.
In related news, Kobe Bryant said that although he would like to go to a team in a deal that included Mr. Nicholson, he realizes that professional basketball is a business, and he would be willing to play for a contender even if it meant "not being able to hang with Jack" after home games.