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Jake Gyllenhaal's brain-liquifying levels of dreaminess have made him a universal object of desire, with every surfacing photograph of him and companion used as definitive evidence in the ongoing "He's on our team!" tug-of-war. (Even the canine community claimed him when he was snapped canoodling with an underage puggle.) Something about the coziness between Jake and friend Austin Nichols in a series of photos taken at a Lakers game a few months ago really set people's Jakedar a-beeping. Today, the NY Daily News reports a rep insists they are "just friends":

Blogosphere gossips have been claiming that Gyllenhaal was ready to admit he was having trouble quitting actor Austin Nichols, whom he has known since high school. But sorry, guys, there won't be any coming-out party. Even though Jake is now split with Kirsten Dunst and Nichols broke off his engagement to Claire Oswalt, Gyllenhaal's rep says he and Nichols are just friends.

There's something refreshing about the flack's clarification of the platonic nature of the relationship, which omits the requisite indignant defense of the leading man's rigid heterosexuality. The typical gay rumor publicist denial usually begins with three straight minutes of incredulous laughter, followed by a detailed account of their lady-loving client's last half-dozen enthusiastic vagina adventures.