George Clooney, Leonardo DiCaprio Are Basketball Buddies: Publicist Clarifies to Us Weekly

George Clooney on the cover of Esquire magazine
Clooney's rep says, "The writer and George were laughing about basketball buddies."  

It is the interview that keeps on giving. George Clooney, who in the December issue of Esquire candidly discussed his feud with Russell Crowe after the Australian actor had called him a "sellout," also touched on Ashton Kutcher's social media habits ("Why on God's green earth would you be in Twitter?") and Leonard DiCaprio's rather large basketball posse ("The thing about playing Leo is you have all these guys talking sh**").

It turns out, however, that the uproar over Clooney's comments about his fellow A-list actor DiCaprio was the result of Clooney's comments being taken out of context in the piece, his publicist tells Us Weekly.

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"The Leo comments made by George were all made in fun about basketball. Not about Leo's life," Clooney's rep clarifies to Us. In the Esquire piece, Clooney recalled how he once approached DiCaprio, 39, about playing basketball, and the Great Gatsby star responded, "You know, we're pretty serious." Clooney's rep says, "The writer and George were laughing about basketball buddies."

But that was the only part of the cover story that warranted any clarification: "As for the Russell Crowe story, George was asked about it and told the truth," his rep adds. Clooney told Esquire, "[Crowe] picked a fight with me. He started it for no reason at all. He put out this thing saying, 'George Clooney, Harrison Ford, and Robert De Niro are sellouts'…He really went after me. And so I sent him a note going, 'Dude, the only people who succeed when two famous people are fighting is People magazine. What the f–k is wrong with you?'"

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While there was real, bad beef between Clooney and Crowe back in 2005, The Descendants actor, 52, had only positive words about another mega-Hollywood star: Brad Pitt.

"He’s bigger than me, bigger than DiCaprio. And I really admire how he deals with that. It’s not easy for him," said Clooney. "But he tries to be the most honest version of Brad Pitt that he can be. And he also remains unavailable. He’s still a giant movie star because you can’t get to him," said the star, 52, who very publicly split from his girlfriend of two years, Stacy Keibler, 34, in July.

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The actor recalled meeting his BFF Pitt in London while the two Oscar-winning actors were filming reshoots for their respective films — for Pitt, World War Z, which Clooney said the actor "picked it up and put it on his shoulders and took it away from all the people who were screwing it up." Clooney, knowing the tough year Pitt was having, did drinks with the actor one night: "We met up. And I was like, ‘How you holding up?’ And he took out a knife and stabbed it in the table and we drank a lot of vodka and he just said, ‘This one’s going to kill me, man.’"

Pitt, luckily, "Carried [World War Z] over the finish line." The Monuments Men star added that he sent him an email congratulating him for blockbuster hit film: "It said, ‘This one is all on you, brother. Congratulations, because I know this was a killer.’ You know? You don’t want your zombie movie to be the killer, but it was.”

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