Larry Nance Jr. was 'terrified' of Kobe Bryant's response to tweet

Larry Nance Jr. was 'terrified' of Kobe Bryant's response to tweet
Lakers draft pick Larry Nance Jr. poses with his jersey during an introductory news conference in El Segundo on Monday. (Jae C. Hong / Associated Press)

The Lakers introduced their three 2015 draft picks on Monday at the team's practice facility in El Segundo.

While the headliner was Ohio State guard D'Angelo Russell, selected by the team with the second overall pick, it was Larry Nance Jr., taken 27th, who dominated the news conference.


The subject of attention was an ill-advised 2012 tweet about Lakers guard Kobe Bryant: "Gee I sure hope Kobe can keep his hands to himself in Denver again. #rapist."

"I heard my named called with the 27th pick. It was about two minutes until I found out about that," Nance said on Monday. "About 24 hours went past, I felt like I was going to throw up, sick to my stomach. I was just embarrassed in myself. I felt so bad about what I had said. I just wanted to apologize right away."

Bryant was arrested in July 2003 on allegations of sexual assault in Colorado, although the criminal charges were eventually dropped and a civil lawsuit was settled out of court.

Nance sent Bryant a message. How concerned was he about the All-Star's response?

"Terrified," Nance said.

"Once I got the 'Hey, you're a kid. We've all said and done things we've regretted. It's water under the bridge. Welcome to the family [from Bryant],' I immediately felt my stomach release. There was a big knot."

Nance Jr., a 6-foot-9 Wyoming senior, is the son of Larry Nance, formerly of the Cleveland Cavaliers and Phoenix Suns.

"I'm not the first member of our family to go through this process, but going through this, any questions I have, my dad has been through it," Nance Jr. said.

Of course Nance Sr. didn't live in the Twitter era.

"It was definitely something I'll learn from," Nance Jr. said. "I just need to make it up to you guys and the Lakers fans."

In the meantime, Nance is going to walk delicately around the Lakers' five-time champion.

"Until he says, 'I'm Kobe to you,' he's going to be Mr. Bryant and sir," he said.

The Lakers also introduced Stanford forward Anthony Brown, selected with the 34th overall pick.

All three rookies intend to play with the Lakers' summer league team in Las Vegas, starting July 10.


Email Eric Pincus at and follow him on Twitter @EricPincus.