The Los Angeles Lakers general manager Mitch Kupchak says the team spoke with first-round draft pick Larry Nance Jr. after discovering a 2012 tweet made about guard Kobe Bryant that referenced Bryant’s sexual assault case over a decade ago.
The Los Angeles Lakers general manager Mitch Kupchak says the team spoke with first-round draft pick Larry Nance Jr. after discovering a 2012 tweet made about guard Kobe Bryant that referenced Bryant's sexual assault case over a decade ago.
Nance Jr., out of Wyoming, was selected with the 27th overall pick in Thursday’s draft. He averaged 16.1 points and 7.2 rebounds per game as a senior.
Nance tweeted on May 1, 2012, "Gee I sure hope Kobe can keep his hands to himself in Denver this time.." adding the hashtag "rapist." He deleted the tweet just minutes after he was drafted.
Bryant was accused of sexual assault and arrested in Colorado in 2003 after a woman said she was raped by Bryant in a hotel room. The case was eventually dropped and Bryant settled a civil lawsuit with his accuser.
"I've spoken to Larry Nance Jr., and I'm not in a position to really share information, but it is something that (Nance and Bryant) will have to discuss amongst the two of them," Kupchak said to reporters.
"My understanding, it's something that happened years ago, and in today's world, things don't go away, which doesn't make it any less offensive because it was said three or four years ago,” Kupchak added.
Nance is the son of former NBA player Larry Nance, a three-time All-Star and winner of the 1984 NBA Slam Dunk Contest.
The younger Nance fought through a knee injury during his college career and also suffers from Crohn's disease, an inflammatory bowel disease.
"I've faced a lot of adversity in my life, and I think it's made me stronger," Nance said. "For me, getting drafted wasn't just a victory for me and my family. The entire Crohn's and colitis community, it's big for them too."
- Scooby Axson