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Kobe Bryant might have been swapping training methods with Stephanie Rice

As a picture of Kobe Bryant and Stephanie Rice sitting next to each other at the Olympic velodrome made it's round on the web and set off whispers but the NBA superstar revealed a more innocent explanation.

One of the Game's biggest stars, Bryant, has been spotted at a variety of venues around the Olympics including the volleyball at Earl's Court - but Kobe says it's just him soaking in the Games atmosphere.

 SLIDESHOW - Quirky Olympic Moments

"I try to get out as much as I possibly can and go and see as many events as I can," Bryant said.

"I've had the pleasure of meeting a lot of athletes. I try and interact with them and learn how they train, how they prepare and how they deal with pressure."

"For me that's fun. That's the fun part about being at the Olympics. I really enjoy walking through the Olympic Park - I kind of end up in a speed walk right through but yesterday I got a chance to go see some events."

"I saw Chris Hoy and I also got to see Victoria Pendleton and Anna Meares in their big showdown."

Rice says she is friends with US basketballer Kobe Bryant, but they are not - and never have been - in a relationship.

The two-time Olympian took to Twitter to rubbish claims that she had drummed up a romance with the married star in London, after the pair had been seen together at several events at the Games.

"FYI yes Kobe and I are friends, but no we are not together and never have been. Can't guys and girls be just friends..?" Rice tweeted early on Friday morning (AEST).

"He's an amazing athlete and I've enjoyed getting to know him and many other great athletes in my Olympic journey."

Earlier in the evening basketball star LeBron James made his way quietly into the arena and wore headphones as he watched Brazil play Argentina in their knockout quarter final.

James eventually headed back to the shelter of his team's changing rooms after members of the public caught on and chased the Heat forward for photographs.