The Los Angeles Lakers took Wyoming forward Larry Nance Jr. with the 27th pick in the 2015 NBA Draft. If the name sounds familiar to you it says one, you are over 30 years old and two, you remember Cavs high flying big man, Larry Nance, the NBA’s first slam dunk champion who is the father of the Lakers recent draftee.
Now it wasn’t the great basketball genes that got the attention of NBA teams, Nance Jr. shot up most teams draft boards after killing it during the interview process. In a USA Today article prior to the draft they touched on what attracted teams about Nance Jr.
“The former Wyoming star’s humble, inviting personality has impressed scouts and general managers during workouts leading up to Thursday’s NBA Draft every bit as much as his game.”
Sam Amico, a national basketball writer for Fox Sports, provided similar thoughts about Nance Jr. in the piece.
“I know this for sure, he’s really impressed people in his interviews with his maturity and just his overall personality.”
Maturity was the overall theme when NBA execs spoke of Nance Jr. prior to the draft which is ironic when a tweet from his Twitter account surfaced after he was drafted by the Lakers.
The tweet has since been deleted from Larry Nance Jr.’s Twitter account but not nearly in time from it getting out to the public.
The fact that Nance Jr. and his handlers did not meticulously go through his social media accounts to find any hint of controversial or offensive posts well before the draft brings to question the exact trait that was so highly touted by NBA execs.
ESPN reported that Mitch Kupchak was asked about the offensive tweet directed at the team’s captain.
“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.”
In the spirit of fairness the tweet is 3 years old which is when Nance Jr. was 19 years old, still plenty old enough to know better especially considering he is the son of a former NBA star and playing for a division 1 school at the time, but you might be able to give the young man starting his first year of college a pass, chalking it up to youthful stupidity. However, Based on Kupchak’s comments he seems to have a different opinion about giving young men a pass for poor judgement.
“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.” stated Mitch Kupchak.
The talk surrounding Nance’s tweet will likely hang around for a short period of time and then go away, being nothing more than an annoyance to those in the Lakers organization having to answer questions about it, namely Kobe Bryant.
Nance Jr. will have a chance to show he is no longer that immature kid that tweets offensive comments about very serious matters involving public figures who he might actually work with one day and instead that personable, smart and mature individual he showed during pre-draft interviews. Well, we are assuming he’ll have that chance as we don’t know what the result of that conversation with Kobe Bryant will be.