Legendary NBA rookie prank

Chris Tomasson of the Rocky Mountain News wrote a story about memorable NBA pranks. Here’s an excerpt:

In 2004-05, actress Lucy Liu was sitting in the front row at the Staples Center and Lakers rookie Tony Bobbitt fibbed to teammates that he knew Liu and she was looking his way.

Lakers veterans, spearheaded by Vlade Divac and [Devean] George, sprang into action. They had a ballboy bring a note to Bobbitt with a cell phone number that was said to be Liu’s but really was Divac’s.

A female Lakers employee recorded an outgoing message on Divac’s phone. It wasn’t long before Bobbitt was leaving voice and text messages for Liu.

Lakers players howled with laughter while reading Bobbitt’s attempts at poetry. Messages were sent back that Bobbitt thought were from Liu.

“The whole team got involved,” George said. “He said he went on a date with her, and we knew he didn’t because it was Vlade’s phone he was calling and texting.”

Soon, the veterans moved in for the kill. They sent a limousine to take Bobbitt to a restaurant, with Bobbitt thinking it had been sent by Liu for a meeting.

Hidden cameras recorded the entire episode. But while Bobbitt waited at a table with a bottle of champagne for his dream girl, Lakers teammates instead arrived.

“We jumped out, and he said, ‘She’s coming,’ ” George said. “We said, ‘Quit lying.’ It started as a small prank and grew since he had kept lying for three or four weeks. We got the whole thing on DVDs. When guys on other teams came through, they’d say, ‘You got one of those DVDs?’ We called it ‘Bobbitt Gone Wild.’ ”

As it turned out, that was all Bobbitt was known for in his NBA career. He was waived in November 2004 after playing just two games and never was seen again.

That’s classic.

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