Kobe Bryant shares dancing video amid youth basketball controversy
Kobe Bryant received some blowback this week after making remarks about a youth basketball player that he insists weren’t interpreted as intended, and the legend is continuing to do damage control.
On Thursday, Bryant shared a video of him dancing as a youngster to reinforce the point that he wasn’t calling out a teammate on his daughters AAU team for choosing dance over basketball. The footage shows a 12-year-old Bryant dancing to Vanilla Ice’s “Ice Ice Baby,” of all songs.
“When I was 12, I skipped basketball for two weeks so I could dance in a school show,” Bryant wrote. “I’m all about diversifying while young, then locking in on your passion.”
The entire controversy was spawned by an earlier Instagram post from Bryant in which he appeared to call out the young girl in question.
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Here’s our fourth place “winners” picture lol six of the kids in the picture stayed with me and worked every single day to get better and continue to work to this day. The 7th player (not in pic) missed this game for a dance recital so that should tell you where her focus was at this time, meaning she enjoyed dance more than ball which is fine. Now? She eats sleeps and breaths the game. So from this original group of 7 we have added a player TWO years YOUNGER (6th grade now), a player who’s team in our area folded and a player who’s family moved here from Tennessee. The beauty of coaching is growing the players from the ground up. That journey continues #mambas #2yearsago
“Here’s our fourth place ‘winners’ picture lol six of the kids in the picture stayed with me and worked every single day to get better and continue to work to this day,” Bryant wrote. “The 7th player (not in pic) missed this game for a dance recital so that should tell you where her focus was at this time.”
Bryant took to Twitter on Wednesday to apologize and clarify his remarks after getting called out on social media.
Doing a dance to miss the game isn’t a bad thing. That’s not what I was saying. I was just giving context as to why she wasn’t in the picture. All my girls play/played diff sports. It’s all good and For the record I followed their lead on not smiling. They HATED those trophies— Kobe Bryant (@kobebryant) September 11, 2019
sorry if it came across as a slight, trust me it wasn’t. I was just giving the reason for her not being in the pic. They chose not to smile for the pic I actually followed their lead. Our team has become family and this includes the 7th player— Kobe Bryant (@kobebryant) September 11, 2019
The fact that Bryant used a personal story about his decision to prioritize something over basketball when he was young will likely silence some of his critics, but odds are there will remain some people who still believe his original remarks were in poor form.