Courtside: Celebrity NBA Fan- Jack Nicholson
Jack Nicholson is one of the most visible celebrity NBA Fans. When you think of the Los Angeles Lakers, you think of Magic Johnson, Jerry West, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar and in many ways you also have to think of Jack Nicholson. Although the Lakers have many celebrity fans such as Denzel Washington, Leonardo DiCaprio, Penny Marshall and members of the Red Hot Chili Peppers, none is as iconic as a Lakers fan as Jack Nicholson.
Jack Nicholson has been a Lakers fan since 1970 when he first purchased season tickets. He has been seen on television courtside at Lakers games for over 20 years. He has been a passionate fan who does not shy away from yelling at referees as well as opposing players and coaches. He is so much a part of the Lakers' home games that opposing players will talk trash to him. Nicholson has even been known to step on to the court from time to time during games when he is especially riled up. That is a singular trait for a celebrity NBA fan.
However, Jack does not attend the games merely for the theatrics; he is a student and "conoisseur" of the game. He has admitted that his favorite moment of his years watching the Lakers came at one game in the late 1980's when Magic Johnson was showing Vlade Divac how to correctly run down the court on the fastbreak. That attention to nuance and level of observation can only come from a true devotee to the game. Pat Riley has said about Nicholson that, "He's been a good friend of mine for years and it's born out of basketball more than anything else. He's simply a fanatic and has been ever since I started my career with the Lakers in 1970. He's a real fan. He's not one of these actors that all of a sudden get front row seats and then they're gone. He's for real. He cares."
Nicholson carries his celebrity NBA fan status for the Lakers off the court as well. During the filming of Martin Scorcese's "The Departed," a drama very rooted in the city and crime life of the city of Boston, it was reported that Nicholson had all Boston Celtics merchandise and memorabilia banned from the set. Whether Martin Scorcese allowed this request to take away from the authenticity of his movie remains to be verified, but knowing Jack's Laker fandom, it is not out of the question to believe it.
Jack Nicholson is a prime example of a celebrity NBA fan. And his devotion to the Los Angeles Lakers proves why the NBA is the best professional sports league in America. The love of the game of basketball is something that surpasses the love of so many other sports. Jack and the Lakers is the perfect example. Now, that is a truth that anyone can see and "handle."