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JACK NICHOLSON SHARES HIS KOBE STORY “He looked at me like I was crazy.”


Jack Nicholson would put a clause in his contracts to make sure he was free when the Lakers played in Staples. If the movie were being made in or near LA, Jack would be at the game. They could shoot other stuff while the Lakers are playing. When you think of the Lakers, as much as you think of Magic and Kobe, you also think about Jack Nicholson sitting courtside.

Mr. Nicholson hasn't been out in public a lot — and doesn't have an Instagram or Twitter account (go figure). He was reluctant to talk about Kobe at first, but he opened up to LA Times about his feelings after hearing the tragic news. 

“My reaction is the same as almost all of L.A. Suddenly, where everything was solid, there’s a big hole in the wall. I was so used to seeing and talking to Kobe that — it kills you. It’s just a terrible event.”

Jack Nicholson, LA Times

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For a man that sat courtside for most of Kobe's Staples games, this came as a shock. Kobe was supposed to comment on his passing one day, not the other way around. They had a friendship, and what Nicholson respected most about Kobe is that it remained private. Kobe understood it wasn't for public consumption and appreciated it.

“When I first talked to him after that first meeting, he called me on the phone and said, ‘Jack, I know you’re not going to want to do this, but they made me ask you,’” he said, referencing an instance in which he was asked to speak about Bryant on camera. “He was doing a documentary or something. And that just speaks to Kobe’s sensitivity.”

Jack Nicholson, LA Times

One of the things Nicholson made a point to share was Kobe's sense of humor. It's a great test of one's character, and Kobe passed that one with flying colors. When you interact with Jack Nicholson, you will be teased, and there will be jokes.

“I teased him the first time we met. It was in [Madison Square Garden] in New York, and I offered him a basketball and asked him, did he want me to autograph it for him? (laughs) He looked at me like I was crazy.”

Jack Nicholson, LA Times

From day one, Kobe wanted to be a great player, a great Laker. There are a few missions you need to make that quest. Win a title, become an MVP, play for most, or all of your career for the Lakers. One more thing - sign an autograph for Jack Nicholson on live TV. Kobe was four for four.

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