Stars out at Finals

Above: DreamWorks Animation CEO Jeffrey Katzenberg (left) and director Steven Spielberg watch the action last night. Right: Actor Sylvester Stallone at the Staples Center. Above: DreamWorks Animation CEO Jeffrey Katzenberg (left) and director Steven Spielberg watch the action last night. Right: Actor Sylvester Stallone at the Staples Center. (Photos By Mike Blake/Reuters)
By Mark Shanahan & Meredith Goldstein
June 4, 2010

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LOS ANGELES — Let the games begin. The 2010 NBA Finals opened here last night and, as usual, Tinseltown types scored the best seats.

There were Hollywood stars aplenty at the Staples Center, though many arrived after tip-off, watching Jeffrey Osborne perform the national anthem from the comfort of the VIP lounge.

The crowd included Jack Nicholson — of course — and his buddy, legendary LA music producer Lou Adler, as well as Boston-bred “Mad Men’’ star John Slattery, “The Wire’’ actor Andre Royo, Oscar winner Hilary Swank and her boyfriend John Campisi, “Private Practice’’ actor Tim Daly, Ian Gomez of “Cougar Town,’’ and soccer player Patrick Viera.

While some of the famous fans were decked out in expensive Lakers gear — singer Nick Lachey, for one, was sporting a sweet championship jacket and matching pants — others couldn’t be bothered. Joel Silver, producer of some of the highest-grossing action films in Hollywood history, looked like he just rolled out of bed.

Also in the house were rapper Snoop Dogg, former Celtic Rick Fox, funny fellas Adam Sandler, David Spade, Kevin James, and Chris Rock — their made-in-Massachusetts flick “Grown Ups’’ hits theaters soon — Sylvester Stallone, skater Michelle Kwan, NBA commissioner David Stern, and former player Rory Sparrow.

Donnie Wahlberg predicted the Celts will win in six, but admitted he’s nervous. The New Kid said he’s expecting Rajon Rondo to walk away with the MVP trophy. Steven Spielberg, meanwhile, told us it’ll be Kobe’s crew that will win in six. The director, sitting with his DreamWorks partner Jeffrey Katzenberg, said he’d like to see the Lakers wrap it up in Boston.

McHale's green team was the Sonics

“The Soup’’ star Joel McHale is in town to film “What’s Your Number?,’’ the romantic comedy starring Anna Faris and Sudbury native Chris Evans, but his time in the Hub has not turned McHale into a Celts fan. “I was a big Sonics fan,’’ McHale, a native of the Pacific Northwest, told us yesterday. “But they got sold to Oklahoma City, and on top of that, when they were dismantling our team, they traded our best player, Ray Allen, to the Celtics.’’ Because he’s been living in LA for 11 years, he admitted he does root for the Lakers now. And he’s not the lone Lakers fan on the Boston set. “It was funny because there are a lot of people from LA that are working on the movie. So they’re like, ‘OK, we’ve got lights, camera, quiet please, and the Lakers are gonna win and action!’ It’s pretty funny.’’ While he isn’t wearing green, McHale’s a big fan of Matt Damon, with whom he worked on Stephen Soderbergh’s “The Informant!’’ “It is no coincidence that Matt Damon is a movie star because he has everything you need to be a great movie star,’’ said McHale. “He’s good looking, he’s incredibly smart, he’s incredibly talented and funny, and he just has that streetwise thing that you need to be able to maintain a career like he has.’’ McHale said he’s spent much of his time in Boston at two hotels, one for filming, one for sleeping. “I am at the Mandarin Oriental hotel. It’s very Oriental and Mandarin. . . . We shot last night at the W, though. It was great, they actually used a lot of the W employees and they were very nice and accommodating.’’

Walking for a ticket

Tyler McGill really wanted to watch the Celtics-Lakers game last night, but there aren’t too many TVs on the side of the road. And that’s where you’ll find the 27-year-old surf shop owner from Rye, N.H. McGill’s been offered courtside tickets for next week’s games at the Garden, but there’s a catch. “My buddies have great seats, and I was, like, ‘What’s it gonna take to get to one of those games?’ ’’ Their answer: Walk 218 miles from Boston to the Big Apple. (His friends live in New York and will drive him back for the game.) McGill set out Tuesday and was on Route 66 just west of Willimantic, Conn. — about 125 miles from his destination — when we reached him yesterday on his cell. “I’m doing about 35 miles a day,’’ he said. “If I keep it up, I could be in New York by midday Monday.’’ (That’s good, because Game 3 is Tuesday.) McGill said he’s subsisting on candy bars, Gatorade, and the kindness of strangers. “I met a girl in a coffee shop who let me stay at her place one night,’’ he said. Romance, we wondered? “Nah, I got a girlfriend at home.’’

Kaling pines for Allston

She lives in LA these days, but Cambridge-bred actress Mindy Kaling would rather be in Allston during the Celts-Lakers showdown. Kaling (inset), who’s in the ensemble cast of “The Office’’ and will soon star in her own new show on NBC, tweeted to her fans: “[I] wish I could watch at least one of the Finals games at the Sports Depot in Allston, MA.’’ Sounds like fun, but Kaling may want to hurry. We’re told the owners of the Depot are considering closing the shop and turning it into a Regina Pizzeria. The actress also joked that her new show on NBC should feature her as “a washed-up Laker Girl from 2000 who hangs out at Staples Center trying to get hired again.’’ Wait, isn’t that the Paula Abdul story? . . . Celts shooter Nate Robinson celebrated his first NBA Finals with a new tattoo. The C’s guard, who, like a lot NBA players, is heavily inked, tweeted a pic of his newest tatt — the Seattle skyline, which adorns the back of his neck. “I put on 4 my city 206,’’ tweeted Nate, referring to the Seattle area code. We’d prefer to look at the Pru.

Globe correspondent Jason Gregory Gold contributed. Read the Names blog at Names can be reached at or at 617-929-8253.