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THIS MORNING, AT UCLA PRACTICE

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A NEW RECRUIT APPEARS

[this morning, at UCLA spring practice]

JIM L. MORA: [clapping] alright good looks out there, guys, five-minute water break and we're back at it

KOBE BRYANT, appearing suddenly: I'm here for practice

MORA: I... what?

BRYANT: I'm your 5-star recruit. You recruited me personally. Centerpiece of the team.

MORA: is this some kind of Kimmel thing

BRYANT: I'm late for practice, because it shows the rest of the team how much you value me, your hotshot freshman.

MORA: Kobe...

BRYANT: My name is Ramon.

MORA: You're quite clearly Kobe Bryant.

BRYANT: Ramon Murdersnake.

MORA: You're still wearing your jersey from last night's game, Kobe, have - have you even slept?

BRYANT: Murdersnakes don't need sleep. I just jump rope in the dark. Now, where's my playbook?

MORA: Listen, setting aside the fact that you're clearly a 37-year-old man who to my knowledge has never played football, there's simply no way you're eligible to play college sports. You played 20 years of professional basketball. You have tens of millions in endorsements. You're filming a commercial right now.

BRYANT: [turns to camera crew that's been filming the entire time] Coconut water.

DIRECTOR: That's a wrap, guys!

BRYANT: I, like you, am also a big fan of Kobe Bryant, but clearly, my name is Ramon. I'm 18 years old and have six years remaining of NCAA eligibility.

MORA: Okay well the most anyone can get is five with a redshi-

BRYANT: Here. [pulls out iPad, starts video]

[UCLA athletic director Dan Guerrero appears alone against a blank white backdrop]

GUERRERO, shakily: This man is who he says he is and he is our star recruit. We are reassigning two scholarships to him. [video cuts out]

MORA: Two!?

BRYANT: I'm going to double major. Aerospace engineering and Italian drama.

MORA: I don't even think we have a program in Ital-

[Kobe pulls out iPad again]

UCLA CHANCELLOR GENE BLOCK: we have a program in Italian drama now [video cuts out]

MORA: Well, look, I'm terribly opposed to this, but I'll give you a shot. Here's a playbook.

BRYANT: [tosses playbook over shoulder] I'm changing the offense. We're running the triangle now.

MORA: That's... a basketball thing?

BRYANT: It works in all aspects of life. I drive the triangle. Eat the triangle. File my taxes in the triangle. Got a $100M refund last year.

MORA: You're almost certainly committing tax fraud.

BRYANT: It works in football, too. Here's a diagram.

[diagram is just a triangle with "Kobe QB" --- "Kobe WR" --- "Kobe RB" at the vertices]

MORA: You could've at least stuck to the conceit of calling yourself Ramon.

BRYANT: It's inspirational. I view myself as a Kobe Bryant-like talent.

MORA: You show yourself at three positions.

BRYANT: Picked it up from a Bugs Bunny cartoon. Lot of wisdom to be found there. I often tunnel up under my enemies with a saw.

MORA: I believe that. But we already have a star starting quarterback, Jo-

[Josh Rosen crashes into scene in a dune buggy]

ROSEN: I'm the normal one in a story for once!

MORA: Fine, let's just get on with this. Josh, let's throw Ramo-

BRYANT: Call me Kobe.

MORA, sighing: let's throw Kobe a few passes. You're tall, maybe you'll be good depth at wideout.

BRYANT: 30-yard out route. On 3.

[Rosen throws a perfectly placed spiral 10 yards short of the 40-yard route Bryant runs]

BRYANT: His arm is too weak. I'm the quarterback now.

ROSEN: But-

BRYANT: Here's Coachella tickets.

ROSEN: Neat! [dune-buggys away]

MORA: FINE. You're quarterback now. [gestures to TE Thomas Duarte] Get out there.

[Duarte runs a short curl, Bryant nails him in the back of the head before he can turn]

BRYANT: Your offense is a mess. I'm taking over as coach.

MORA: Alright, look, I've humored this long enough, but I've got to put a stop to this. I've overseen a pretty decent resurgence in this program in the last couple years, and I'm not about to throw that away. I appreciate your history in this city, but we're a forward-looking program. We're not going to put someone in a pivotal role that they have no experience in just because of familiarity or fondness for their past glories. What kind of stability would that provide? What kind of program would we be running then?

USC ATHLETIC DIRECTOR LYNN SWANN: I'll give you three scholarships.

BRYANT: I'm going to be a doctor