It turns out Kobe Bryant did not scold Lakers rookie forward Larry Nance Jr. for posting a tweet three years ago about his sexual assault case.
Instead, Bryant said he forgave Nance Jr. and said there is “no need” to discuss it any further.
“The kid figured it out himself,” Bryant said on Saturday with ESPN’s Jemele Hill at the BET Experience at the Nokia Theater in Los Angeles. “The kid is 19. He’s a kid.”
Bryant still showed amusement over the way Nance Jr. apologized.
“He sent me a great message [Friday], which is really funny,” said Bryant, who is entering his 20th NBA season. “I looked at it like, ‘This is when you know it’s about time to hang these things up’ when your teammate writes to you, ‘Hi, Mr. Bryant.’ But it was really nice and he was apologetic about it with what happened. I said, ‘Dude, listen. We’ve all said things and done things that we regret and wish that we could take back. It’s water under the bridge, man. Welcome to the team.’ He writes back and says, ‘Thank you sir.’ I was like, What the hell?”
On May 1, 2012, Nance Jr. tweeted, “”Gee I sure hope Kobe can keep his hands to himself in Denver this time.” It also included the hashtag “#rapist.” In 2003, Bryant was accused of sexual assault in Colorado, though charges were eventually dropped.
Nance Jr. deleted his tweet shortly after the Lakers selected him with the 27th pick of the 2015 NBA Draft on Thursday. Lakers general manager Mitch Kupchak also said he and team spokesman John Black spoke with Nance Jr. late Thursday night about his tweet.