The Los Angeles Lakers selection of dynamic point guard D'Angelo Russell in the NBA Draft was met with plenty of excitement on Thursday night.
Their second pick, however, was met with a bit of controversy.
After scooping up Russell with the second overall selection, the Lakers drafted University of Wyoming forward Larry Nance Jr. for the 27th pick. Within seconds of the Lakers selecting Nance, a May 2012 tweet of his surfaced, reading: "Gee I sure hope Kobe can keep his hands to himself in Denver this time." It also included the hashtag "#rapist."
It was in clear reference to Kobe Bryant's 2003 sexual-assault case in Colorado.
Lakers general manager Mitch Kupchak discussed Nance's tweet discovery with ESPN on Thursday night.
"I've spoken to Larry Nance Jr. with John Black, our public relations director," Kupchak said. "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."
Way to go rook! You haven't even played your first NBA game and you're already getting the "Kobe Death Stare" from Lakers Nation. It's going to be interesting to see how Nance Jr. works this out with the Black Mamba.
Still, with the additions of Nance and Russell, the Lakers look like they are not doomed to repeat their last season's dreadful 21-61 record.
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