I know I'm not the first person to comment on this, and I'm sure I won't be the last, but...what happened to Jack Nicholson? Seeing him these days just makes me sad. It used to feel so cool
to see Jack courtside at Lakers games, but now he just looks like a pervy old man who doesn't quite realize how old and pervy he looks.
Now, one could argue that he doesn't care, but this is the same guy who freaked out
when Heath Ledger was cast to play the Joker in the new Batman movie. If Jack really thinks that he's fit to play the Joker again -- and he's pretty clearly not -- then there's little doubt he genuinely believes that he's as suave and sexy as he's ever been. But in reality, he has officially become That Guy
. A rich, famous, and rather untouchable That Guy
, but That Guy
I posted this same picture on my NBA Closer column
and got some pretty funny comments:schtickless
: Jack Nicholson is starting to look like Diane Keaton.RachelRayIsTheDevil
: He's starting to resemble Dyan Cannon too.Weed Against Speed
: It was quite the coincidence when Jack Nicholson showed up wearing his "More Viagra Please" t-shirt the same night Kobe was presented his MVP award.UkraineNotWeak
: I was thinking Medically Vitalized Penis.Arriaga_II
: After being in the Staples Center and the Departed, Jack's the man if you want a lifetime achievement award.MattinglysSideburns
: It's nice to see Skeletor was momentarily able to abandon his pursuit of Castle Greyskull in order to attend a basketball game.Weed Against Speed
: "Who sticks his index fingers and thumbs out like pistols, does whatever he wants whenever he wants, snorts assloads of coke and bangs women 1/3 his age? This guy!!"Sh!tShow
: "When asked to comment, Nicholson said, "Good times. Noodle salad."UkraineNotWeak
: "I am the fucken shore patrol."
(Note that last comment apparently refers to a t-shirt Penny Marshall was seen wearing at a Clippers game earlier this season.)Chamomiles Davis
: He eats breakfast 300 yards away from 14 Mexicans who are paid to do his landscaping.Alonzo Mosely
: Were the NBA, and David Stern, a little too fucking giddy in their showering of praise over an anal rapist? Fuck LA, fuck Bill Simmons, and fuck that guy who played a werewolf in some fucking lousy movie, you fucks.Kobe's MVP:
I've gotten several comments and e-mails from people who are disappointed that I didn't blow an O-Ring over Kobe's Lifetime Achievement Award. But what can I say? It didn't bother me nearly as much as it would have at any other time during his career. Mostly because -- other than for the first few weeks of the season and another handful of notable exceptions here and there -- he was playing basketball the way it's supposed to be played.
Of course, Kobe has almost always played at an amazingly high level...after his first couple seasons, anyway. He just hasn't been able to be both the selfless facilitator and scoring assassin at the same time consistently without subtly (and not-so-subtly) disparaging his teammates, coaches, GMs, owners, etc. He actually managed to do that for almost 80 percent of this season. I really didn't think he had it in him.
And for those of you who have been saying, "All Kobe needed was good teammates," I call shenanigans. He had those in spades during his first several years in L.A. and he was still
a selfish, brooding superstar who seemed more concerned with being The Man than winning. Wait. That's not quite right. He was concerned with being The Man and
winning, and he was willing to shake the Lakers franchise to its very foundations to make that happen.
Well, he did it. And now, years later, it finally paid off. He's The Man, and the MVP, and his team is a front-runner to win the championship. His team and the entire basketball world is finally revolving around Kobe Bean Bryant. That, apparently, was all it took to bring out the best in him.
My thoughts on it? KG should have won, hands down. And then, for my money, CP3 should have come in second. I still feel the Lakers basically got better around Kobe. They brought in Fisher, who's been more of a calming, veteran leader than Kobe. Then guys like Andrew Bynum, Jordan Farmar and Sasha Vujacic blossomed. By the numbers, they have the best bench in the league. And when Bynum went down, Kobe was handed an established All-Star in Pau Gasol. Note, too, that Odom was at his best this season only after
the Gasol trade, so one could argue that Pau's presence made Lamar better, not Kobe. Oh, and there's also the little matter of L.A.'s Hall of Fame coach and that fantastic offensive system known as the Triangle.
Meanwhile, Chris Paul made David West an All-Star and he almost did the same thing with Tyson Chandler too. He revived basketball in New Orleans without a bench and transformed Byron Scott into the Coach of the Year. Kobe's been great, better tan he's ever been. But I'll always believe that Chris Paul was more valuable. This season, anyway.
But props to Kobe. He's transformed himself. And while I may not necessarily think he deserved it, I certainly think he earned it.Mike D'Antoni:
It looks like Mikey is in contention to become the head coach of the Chicago Bulls or possibly the New York Knicks. Trust me, his first choice is going to be the Bulls. If he gets offered both positions, he's taking the Chicago job. Say what you will about his run-and-fun offense in Phoenix, but it relied on both focus and discipline. Do you really think he's going to get those two things out of the guys on the Knicks' roster? Hardly. By contrast, the Bulls players showed a high degree of those characteristics until the milk went sour under Scott Skiles. I bet D'Antoni believes he can revive that.
Evil Ted recently asked me what I think about D'Antoni as Bulls coach, because we both live in Chicago and therefore follow the Bulls pretty closely. Honestly, I'm cool with it. Very
cool with it, even. I think it'll breath life into a group of players who have become increasingly lifeless over the last season(ish). The Bulls have a bunch of young gunners who are probably dying for a little freedom and offensive creativity, which is exactly what they didn't get under Skiles and then Jim Boylan (who was too paralyzed by a desire to keep the head job to really shake things up).
Seven Seconds or Less will never be as successful in Chicago as it was in Phoenix because Kirk Hinrich is no Steve Nash. He's not even a homeless person's Steve Nash. But there are fresh legs and three-point shooters galore here. So while I doubt that bringing in D'Antoni will help the Bulls overtake the Cavaliers, Celtics, Magic or Pistons, well, it'll be a lot more fun watching them score 100+ points and lose than it has been watching them score 80+ points and lose.
Labels: Chicago Bulls, Jack Nicholson, Kobe Bryant, Mike D'Antoni, MVP