Mayor Villaraigosa offers up Jack Nicholson in bet with Boston’s mayor over outcome of NBA Finals


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Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa offered the following wager to Mayor Thomas Menino of Boston prior to Game One of the NBA Finals on Thursday.

‘Mayor Menino:

As the brilliant essayist and cultural observer Chuck Klosterman wrote:
“There is no relationship that isn’t a Lakers-Celtics relationship.
It emerges from nothingness to design nature, just as Gerald Henderson emerged from nothingness to steal James Worthy’s errant inbound pass in game two of the 1983 finals.” Although Klosterman clearly has questionable allegiances, I think Celtics and Lakers fans alike can agree that he makes a very valid point.


Once again, we find ourselves replaying the rivalry that defined a decade. The Lakers, having triumphed over the Phoenix Suns, and the Celtics, having defeated the Orlando Magic, will face off for the NBA Championship for the twelfth time in history. Only this time - unlike two years ago - it’s our turn to win and finally tie the Celtics for the most championships of any NBA franchise.

The wager:

Should the Celtics prove victorious, we will generously permit Hollywood legend and Lakers fan extraordinaire, Jack Nicholson, to don green and film a commercial touting Old North Church, the Common, and all there is to see in Boston. Should the Lakers prevail, we will gladly accept your hometown boys, Matt Damon and Ben Affleck, as spokespersons for a public service announcement extolling the virtues of the City of Los Angeles, where the climate, the beaches, and the food are far superior.

How’d you like them apples?

Additionally, should the Lakers fall short in their quest, we will humbly set aside a few minutes in the middle of every fourth quarter for “Gino Time.” Conversely, should the Celtics finally let the Lakers tie their record, we full expect the TD Garden to air the footage of Magic Johnson’s game winning “baby hook” from Game Four of the
1987 Finals.

In all seriousness, win or lose, the NBA Finals will bring an estimated
$34 million to the City of Los Angeles and have a comparable economic impact on the City of Boston, but the positive yields do not end there.
As a former member, I was thrilled to see that the Boys & Girls Clubs of Los Angeles and Boston are leveraging the media attention on our two cities by engaging in a friendly fundraising challenge. I fully support this effort as I am sure you do as well.

I leave you with the words of two basketball greats, Magic Johnson and Larry Bird: “Rivalries are born, but they never die.” May the best team win!’