Did O.J. Mayo Punch Daniel Hackett?


From Scott Wolf @ DailyNews.com:

USC coach Tim Floyd said he met with guards O.J.
Mayo and Daniel Hackett over the weekend after multiple sources told
the Daily News Mayo punched Hackett during a pickup game last month.

"I brought O.J. into my office and asked him about it and I also spoke to Daniel," Floyd said. "They said it wasn’t true."


said Mayo accidentally threw an elbow after a rebound. Hackett broke
his jaw during the incident, and it will be wired shut for at least
four more weeks.

Although the incident occurred Sept. 28, Floyd has been out
of town for several weeks and did not speak to Mayo about it until
Sunday. Several sources, including a member of the basketball team,
said Mayo punched Hackett during the game. No coaches were present.

"Yeah, he punched him," a player said. "They changed the story for the media."

I’m actually surprised it took Scott this long to get the story out.  A few weeks ago I received word that O.J.’s inadvertent elbow might have actually been a punch.  The tip came from a guy who’s good friends with Daniel, so I considered the possibility of it being true.  Then yesterday there was a quote from Kevin Love, who’s always been supportive of O.J., in a Sportsline.com article:

"An elbow? Yeah, right," said UCLA’s Kevin Love
when the subject came up at the Bruins’ media day. "Dan’s a good friend of
mine, too. I’m never going to lay a hand or lay a fist or elbow on a teammate
like that."

I don’t know what actually went down, but I will say that if the rumors are true, Daniel is one hell of a teammate.  The media will obviously run with this given O.J.’s history, but these things happen every season (e.g. Steve Smith/D. Byrd, D. Hackett/Dwight Lewis, E. Griffen/Kyle Moore, etc.).  Boys will be boys and things will be back to normal once the season starts.

Kyle Bunch

Partnerships for R/GA Ventures. Raised in California, adopted by Texas. Opinions expressed here are mine and they are fantastic.

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