An internet flurry broke out over the weekend when reports surfaced that Kobe Bryant, Carmelo Anthony and Kevin Love were playing in a pick-up game at UCLA.
That shouldn't seem like such a big deal because pick-up games featuring NBA stars have been a common occurrence over the years. I remember one of my roommates who played under Jim Harrick telling me on multiple occasions about who had been playing on campus.
It's easy to understand why NBA stars would flock to UCLA during the summer.It's part history, part campus environment, and part wanting to play against tough competition. The internet hasn't blown up over pick-up games in South Central.
The key is that it always happened on the down-low. In the days when Magic would play pick-up games on campus, Twitter didn't exist.
However, to the uninitiated, it was a big deal and Twitter made it even bigger. It became such a big deal that, according to the Daily News, a "Bruins official immediately refuted reports from its own administrators that suggested Bryant, Carmelo Anthony and Kevin Love played in a game."
Well, on Wednesday at his basketball camp in Santa Barbara, Lakers guard Kobe Bryant weighed in on things.
Kobe told the Daily News:
"It seems like if I want to get an accurate sports source, I have to go to TMZ," Bryant said sarcastically about the sports gossip Web site. "I wasn’t even there. I was in Orange County."
That's a pretty strong denial. Almost too strong.
That said, I'm still not convinced that the threesome wasn't necessarily in Westwood at some point. Why? Because Kobe is trying to avoid being stalked by fans the next time he plays on campus.
For someone from the Morgan Center to break the unofficial code of silence about this and require a denial from both UCLA and Kobe Bryant is just another embarassment and black eye for UCLA Athletics and it makes the Morgan Center look extremely unprofessional. Again.