Kobe Bryant downplays Larry Nance, Jr.’s “rapist” tweet, says it’s “water under the bridge”

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Shortly after the Lakers drafted Larry Nance, Jr. with the No. 27 overall pick in Thursday’s draft, someone dug up a three-year-old tweet in which Nance called Kobe Bryant a “rapist.” Nance quickly deleted the tweet, but the Internet is forever, so it quickly went viral, creating what could have been a pretty awkward situation once Nance reports to training camp in the fall. But Bryant, in an interview with ESPN’s Jemele Hill ahead of tonight’s BET Awards, said Nance has already addressed the tweet with him and they’ve moved past it.

Here’s a transcript, via Dime Magazine:

Hill: You know another important thing for young players to know is, to watch what they tweet.

Bryant: Yeah, obviously

Hill: You might want to have that conversation with Larry Nance.

Bryant: The kid figured it out himself.

Hill: I would love for you to Periscope, or somebody to Periscope that first practice with you and Larry Nance.

Bryant: What do you think I’m going to do to the kid? The kid’s like 19. He’s a kid, man.

He actually sent me a great message yesterday, which is really funny. I looked at it, and it was like, ‘This is when you know it’s about time to hang these things up, when your teammate writes you, ‘Hi, Mr. Bryant’ I was like, ‘What the f—?’ But it was really nice and apologetic about what had happened. I said, ‘Dude, listen. We’ve all said things and done things that we regret and wish we could take back. It’s water under the bridge, man. Welcome to the team.’ He writes back, ‘Thank you, sir.’ I was like, ‘What the f—?””

This is exactly the right way for both Nance and Kobe to handle a situation like this. Frankly, this trend of Internet detectives immediately finding a draft pick’s years-old tweets and bringing them up is creepy and highly uncomfortable. Nobody is the same person they were when they were in high school, and those of us too old for Twitter to have been around during that part of our lives are thankful there’s no record of our every thought on social media. Still, this is a lesson to future draft prospects (and, really, everybody): you never know when something’s going to get dragged up from the past, so be careful.