Kobe Bryant is 'definitely not' playing in the BIG3 next year despite rumored interest

If you've been holding your breath that Kobe Bryant may come out of retirement to join Ice Cube's wildly popular 3-on-3 league, it's time to take a deep breath and exhale. Despite a report that surfaced Tuesday indicating the BIG3's co-founder expected the Black Mamba to join forces with Ice Cube, it doesn't appear to be in the works.

A spokeswoman for Kobe Inc., Molly Carter, who serves as the chief marketing officer, squashed the rumors on Tuesday with a definitive "no."

Turns out, this may have all been one big misunderstanding. BIG3 fans and players have been clamoring for Kobe to join the league next year, and league co-founder Jeff Kwatinetz may have shared that optimism. It led to the following comment on a conference call on Tuesday that may have been misconstrued.

"I did hear from a credible source that Kobe is going to be playing next year," he said via Sports Illustrated. "That's something, but it may be nothing."

It was nothing, after all. Nothing except a brief jolt of excitement for Kobe fans that quickly subsided. Until the next Kobe rumor, of course.

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