John Calipari has Jay-Z, now Ben Howland has Flea of the Red Hot Chili Peppers.
Well, he doesn’t exactly “have” Flea, but he can stand near Flea while the bassist wears his homemade “Free Shabazz Muhammad” t-shirt. Students in the crowd were reportedly wearing more professional-quality shirts with the same message, but isn’t it just so much more Flea to scribble on a shirt with magic marker before playing the national anthem in Pauley Pavilion? Way to make an entrance.
Fortunately for those assembled, Flea also wore pants, and socks. On the appropriate appendages this time. (I’m not linking it, this is a family site, but you know what I mean.)
USA Today found the first photos of Flea in action, posting them at 5:00 a.m. this morning, alongside a short article.
The UCLA faithful are anxiously waiting to see prized recruit Shabazz Muhammad hit the court.
Bruins fans will have to wait longer after the NCAA ruled the freshman ineligible for Friday night’s opener earlier in the day.
Apparently among the fans pining for a glimpse of Muhammad is rock musician Flea. The Red Hot Chili Peppers bassist was on hand to play the national anthem before the Bruins faced Indiana State at newly renovated Pauley Pavilion.
Flea displayed a message for the NCAA on his T-shirt, which read “Free Shabazz Muhammad.”
Muhammad, the prized recruit in a UCLA class that many ranked No. 1 in the nation, was declared ineligible for an undisclosed number of games after the NCAA determined he “accepted travel and lodging during three unofficial visits” to two schools during his recruitment.
Flea’s motives for the shirt are unclear, but he wouldn’t be the only person upset by the NCAA’s ruling.
What’s next? John Cougar Mellencamp wearing a “Free Peter Jurkin” tee?
Oh no, on second thought, that wouldn’t be a good idea at all.
Eric Angevine is the editor of Storming the Floor. He tweets @stfhoops.