The Lakers chose Larry Nance Jr. with the 27th overall pick in the NBA Draft on Thursday night, then learned the Wyoming forward sent out a brutal tweet about Kobe Bryant three years ago.
"Gee I sure hope Kobe can keep his hands to himself in Denver this time.." Nance tweeted on May 1, 2012, adding the hashtag "rapist."
Nance, the son of former NBA star Larry Nance, quickly deleted the 2012 tweet, but not before it was widely shared on social media immediately after the Lakers selected him with their second first-round pick. The tweet referred to Bryant's July 2003 arrest for sexual assault. The case was settled out of court, and Bryant apologized to his accuser without admitting guilt.Seems the Lakers' new draft pick just deleted this old tweet from 2012. Probably a good idea. pic.twitter.com/kC33QuIvPL— Baxter Holmes (@BaxterHolmes) June 26, 2015
But it appears that the Lakers were well aware of the critical tweet before they made the decision to draft Nance:
LAL GM Mitch Kupchak said he & team PR boss John Black addressed Nance's Kobe tweet. Said Kobe & Nance will have to work it out themselves.— Baxter Holmes (@BaxterHolmes) June 26, 2015
Nance now joins the Lakers facing the possibility of an awkward meeting with the team's biggest star.
That first Lakers practice should be a lot of fun. Watch the elbows.