The Big Picture

Patrick Goldstein and James Rainey
on entertainment and media

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ABC mucks up Lakers-Celtics game with movie promo

January 30, 2011 |  4:39 pm

Gimme a break, ABC. 

Just as Sunday's Lakers-Celtics showdown at Staples Center was getting to the nitty-gritty, ABC tossed the game into a split screen so we could get a court-side interview with a critical participant.

Or, wait, was that just Adam Sandler, one of the covey of court-side celebrities at Staples Center who help make the Lakers the team a lot of America loves to hate?

Not content with the typical wink-and-wave shot of Sandler, though, ABC sent its court-side reporter in for a couple of minutes of Q & A, right in the middle of the action. It threw the game into a side picture so we could hear all about Sandler's fab new movie with Jennifer Aniston, "Just Go With It."

I can't think of any better way for Columbia Pictures to alienate basketball fans than to make them sit through some inane repartee with Sandler. Especially as the game already had Lakers fans in a foul mood, with their team struggling with the hated Celtics. And would any of the Boston faithful really want a cutaway from their glory? Not a chance.  (The Lakers ended up losing 109-96.)

Since "Just Go With It" ads already filled up much of the break time during the game, you had to wonder what kind of deal the producers had cut to have Sandler miraculously appear for a promotional spot right in the middle of one of the biggest regular season games of the year.

Next time ABC, spare us the advertorial. Just give us the game. And if you must linger for a second on one of the sideline stars, give us Sandler co-star and movie rookie Brooklyn Decker, who was also at the game. That would be cheap and cheesy, sure. But at least it would be quick and much nicer to look at than Sandler.

In the end, we really tuned in to watch the game.

--James Rainey

Twitter: latimesrainey


Photo: Adam Sandler, Jennifer Aniston and Brooklyn Decker star in "Just Go With It." Credit: Columbia Pictures