Tag: Kobe at Drew League

Milwaukee Bucks v Atlanta Hawks, Game 7

Jennings says Kobe isn’t L.A. enough for Drew League


The Drew League wants a rematch. The legendary Los Angeles pro-am league flew its best to Washington D.C. to take on the Goodman League and its best lost by one point with some controversial refereeing thrown in.

Drew League officials are working to make a rematch happen on the West Coast. As part of that, they want to bring in the biggest name in Los Angeles basketball — Kobe Bryant. Because he’d help the team, and because his name helps sponsors jump on board.

But L.A. native and Drew League regular Brandon Jennings is not down with that. Here is what he told Chris Palmer of ESPN (via twitter):

Brandon Jennings on Kobe: “He wasn’t born and raised in LA. You gotta be from LA to play for Drew. Show me a birth certificate.”

That birth certificate will say Philadelphia. East Coast.

Kobe has his defenders, including Kevin Durant, who got into a little twitter fight with Jennings on the issue.

Born there or not, Kobe is the face of basketball in Los Angeles right now. He owns the city. He’s got five rings that all say Los Angeles on them. And he’s played a game at the Drew League — an odd little add-on game, but a game none the less.

Kobe may not be pure Drew like Jennings or James Harden or Baron Davis, but right now he is pure Los Angeles. Even if he lives in Newport Beach in the OC. So I guess the question is how do you define being an Angelino.

I think I know how Jennings defines it.

Kobe got run at the Drew League in the most Kobe of ways

Dallas Mavericks v Los Angeles Lakers - Game Two

We all knew about the happy ending — Kobe Bryant shows up at the Drew League (the legendary pro-am league in Los Angeles) where a bunch of people who can’t afford to sit close to the floor of a Lakers game got to see him in action. Got to see him score 43 points. Got to see him hit the game winner over James Harden.

But now the story of how Kobe got to play in that game is out, and it’s vintage Kobe.

Over at ESPNLosAngeles’ Laker blog, Andrew Kamenetzky (he and his brother are two of the best bloggers around) spoke with Dino Smiley, the commissioner of the Drew League. And he tells the story.

“We had our championship this past Saturday and prior to that, a couple days before, (Kobe’s) representatives called and said he wanted to play Saturday. I wouldn’t go for it. I’m like, “This is the championship and these guys have worked hard. We don’t want to just put the #1 ringer into the game. We would love to have him there, but it would set back the league, the integrity.”

“But we talked about it, and I said, “You know what? We haven’t set up an All-Star game. Why don’t we do an All-Star game on a Sunday night?” He was gonna be leaving out early Monday morning and coming back. Couldn’t do it. So finally, Sunday evening, I get a call. “Kobe wants to play the game, but wants to play at two o’clock on a Tuesday.” I’m like, “Two o’clock on a Tuesday? We don’t play Drew League games during the week.”

“It was ironic, because the team (Drew League All-Stars who will face the Goodman League All-Stars) was going to have practice that day at 6 pm. So I tell him, “The guys are coming down. Let me see if I can get them to come down early. I don’t want to put it on Twitter and I don’t want to put it out to the media or anything like that, and the guy doesn’t show up. You guys gotta give me a 110 percent that he’s coming.”

“And they were like, “No, he’s definitely coming. He definitely wants to play. And he only wants to play in the Drew league in that gym. He doesn’t want to play anywhere else.” And I know it’s because of LeBron [James] and [Kevin] Durant. They played and got a buzz. (Laughs) We were like, “Okay, let’s try to make it happen.”

Because of the players union meeting in Los Angeles that day — where Kobe was front and center — the game didn’t start until like 4:30. But it went off.

It’s a story that is just so Kobe. Durant and John Wall and others just call ahead and get in these runs all the time. Kobe sees the buzz LeBron and Durant get from the rec leagues and so wants in because he wants that same buzz. And because the Drew League is in L.A. and Kobe can pretty much walk on water in that city, a special game is set up just so he can play.

But a month from now, all anyone will remember is the happy ending.

Kobe Bryant drops 43, hits game winner at Drew League

Los Angeles Lakers v Sacramento Kings

How big have the summer pro-ams become?

A couple of weeks after LeBron James dropped by the Drew League in Los Angeles, Kobe Bryant came down Tuesday night and put on a show — he scored 43 points. Then he dropped the game winner in right over James Harden.

Vintage Kobe to get frustrated at things outside of basketball so he seeks refuge within the court and dominates.

Later today we’ll have a good highlight reel of the entire night — and we know this is not the best video quality, sorry about the first 20 seconds or so — but for now here is Kobe knocking down the game winner. (Hat tip to SLAM)