The excitement that Larry Nance Jr. felt after being drafted 27th overall by the Los Angeles Lakers was short-lived after a 2012 tweet surfaced of Nance referencing Kobe Bryant’s case in Colorado.
Nance contacted Kobe and apologized to him, referring to him as ‘Mr. Bryant’ which Kobe said made him feel old. Kobe did brush off the tweet, but Nance revealed at his introductory press conference that he was terrified of what Kobe might say according to ESPN’s Baxter Holmes:
Nance Jr. said he was "terrified, terrified" of Kobe's potential response but Kobe was cool. Nance also keeps calling him "Mr. Bryant."
— Baxter Holmes (@BaxterHolmes) June 29, 2015
Kobe had no ill feelings towards Nance, simply saying that everyone does things they regret when they’re 19 years old. That surely made Nance feel a lot better as no rookie wants to come in being on Kobe’s bad side.
Now that both Kobe and Nance have spoken about the tweet, and Kobe has declared it ‘water under the bridge,’ everyone should be able to move past this issue. As a first-round pick, Nance has a guaranteed contract, so he will have a lot of work ahead of him if he expects to make an immediate impact for the Lakers.
Nance will get his first chance to show what he can do during Summer League where he and fellow 2015 draft picks D’Angelo Russell and Anthony Brown will join second-year players Julius Randle, Jordan Clarkson, Tarik Black, and Jabari Brown for what should be a very entertaining team.[divide]
One-On-One With Larry Nance, Jr.