In Rick Reilly’s last ESPN column (unofficially titled “Hangin’ with Mr. Bryant Just After Elmo“), Reilly dropped a tidbit about Kobe’s life to give us a taste of the man behind the marketing campaign: “He’s taken up golf. Played Pelican Hill the other day with Bobby Plump, the inspiration for the Jimmy Chitwood character in ‘Hoosiers.’ Forgot to ask why.”
If you go to the article today, though, you’ll see a different bit of tid: “He’s taken up golf. Played Pelican Hill the other day with Maris Valainis, who played Jimmy Chitwood in Hoosiers.” It would appear that Kobe’s Ferrari made too much noise, so Reilly mixed up his Chitwoods.
Unfortunately, we only found out when an INDIANAPOLIS STAR reporter followed up and found out Kobe’s never met the 72-year-old Plump, who’s not even physically able to swing a club anymore.
But if Bryant did want to buddy up with Plump and shoot some holes & hoops, Bobby would not object:
“If he would like to invite me out and pick up the expenses, sure,” Plump said. “I would build his confidence if he played with me, both in golf and basketball. Not that he needs it.”
No shame to Reilly, though; It’s surprisingly easy to mix up people on the screen with real-life counterparts. We once totally confused this blathering nincompoop ranting on our television with a skilled newspaper writer we once knew. We wonder whatever happened to him.