Three-time Academy Award winning actor Jack Nicholson had his usual front-row seat Friday night and watched the Thunder crush his beloved Los Angeles Lakers 116-101 at Staples Center.
Three seasons ago, during Game 5 of the NBA playoffs, Nicholson struck up a conversation with OKC coach Scott Brooks.
“You think I would remember something like that?” Brooks asked in mock disgust after Friday morning's shoot-around session.
Obviously kidding, Brooks shared what was said. “It was actually pretty cool,” Brooks admitted. “I was really thinking to myself, ‘I can't believe he's talking to me. I can't believe he knows my name and he's wasting his time talking to me.' It was a good conversation. We talked about one of the referees that he knows real well. I was saying good things about him (the referee) and he was disagreeing with me on all the nice things I said. I think he went to high school with him.”
Asked if he has chatted with Nicholson since, Brooks said dejectedly: “No, he doesn't have a cellphone. I can't call him.”
SHAQTIN' A FOOL
Against Philadelphia two weeks ago, Thunder center Kendrick Perkins grabbed a rebound, dribbled down court, stopped at the free-throw line and threw the ball directly to his left, out of bounds. A frowning Perkins then yelled at the referee that he was fouled on the pass.
The sequence was so comical, Shaquille O'Neal featured it on this week's “Shaqtin' A Fool” segment on TNT
Even Perkins admitted it was funny, although he playfully was disappointed his ex-Boston Celtics teammate called him out.
On Twitter, Perkins responded: “That shaqin a fool was so funny, I look like a bone head … ”
O'Neal tweeted to Perkins: “it happens to all of us big dog. U look good with the handles tho”
Perkins: “already big homie I'm working on my pg skills”
DEFENSE DOES NOT REST
Lakers All-Star Kobe Bryant scored 28 points on 23 shots Friday and primarily was defended, as usual, by Thabo Sefolosha.
Sefolosha playfully was asked what his reaction would be if Brooks told him to defend, say, Darius Morris. Would Sefolosha be happy with that defensive assignment?
“Not really,” Sefolsoha said, not smiling. “If I'm tired (defending Bryant), I might turn to KD and say take him a few possessions. But after I feel good, I'm ready to go again.”
With three games in four nights, OKC will have Saturday off before playing at Portland on Sunday and at Phoenix on Monday. … Rather than fly to Portland after Friday's game, the Thunder stayed a second night at their Santa Monica hotel, will fly to Portland at noon Saturday and arrive around 2 p.m. … Jack Nicholson and Adam Sandler were seated side-by-side. Also on hand were actor Andy Garcia, actress Charlize Theron, baseball Hall of Famer Frank Robinson and boxer Floyd Mayweather Jr. … The Lakers announced reserve forward Jordan Hill is out for the remainder of the season and will require hip surgery. …
Brooks on the importance of a team having good health, which the Thunder has had with the same starting five all season: “I'm not going to stand up here and say I'm a great coach because Kevin Durant and Russell Westbrook make a lot of things happen for us. I understand that without them (in the lineup), I might come up with an injury bug and not coach that game also.”
By JOHN ROHDE