Lakers Draft Pick Larry Nance Jr. Called Kobe Bryant a Rapist in 2012 Tweet

by June 26, 2015

A three-year-old tweet sullied an otherwise successful and positive NBA Draft for the Los Angeles Lakers—Larry Nance Jr., picked 27th overall Thursday night, had to answer questions about a social media gaffe he made in 2012.

Nance Jr. called his new teammate Kobe Bryant a “rapist”, a reference to sexual assault allegations faced by the Lakers’ superstar guard back in 2003.


The Lakers’ front-office expects the two to hash it out in their own way.


The tweet was published May 1, 2012, on the account belonging to Larry Nance Jr., a forward from the University of Wyoming whom the Lakers selected 27th overall in Thursday’s NBA draft. […] Nance’s tweet, which was deleted within minutes of his selection by the Lakers, read: “Gee I sure hope Kobe can keep his hands to himself in Denver this time.” It also included the hashtag “#rapist.”


Bryant was involved in a 2003 sexual assault case in Colorado. A woman accused Bryant of raping her in his hotel room, but all charges were dropped after she refused to testify. A civil suit was later settled, and Bryant publicly apologized, although he admitted no guilt in the matter.


“I’ve spoken to Larry Nance Jr. with John Black, our public relations director,” Kupchak said Thursday night. “Really, I’m not in a position to really share information. But it is something that they will have to discuss amongst the two of them. […] My understanding is that it’s something that happened years ago, and in today’s world, things don’t go away, which really doesn’t make it any less offensive because it was said three, four years ago.”