Kobe Bryant Apologizes After Calling Out Daughter’s Teammate For Missing Basketball Game To Perform At Dance Recital

Kobe Bryant is apologizing for an offhand remark that caused a social-media backlash for the retired L.A. Lakers star.

It all started with a celebration as the 41-year-old NBA superstar shared a photo on Instagram of his daughter’s school basketball team enjoying a hard-won victory.

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“Two years ago we lost to the same team 22-21,” he wrote, adding the hashtags #hardwork and #mambas, the name of his daughter’s team.

He followed that up with a second post, this time showcasing the team’s trophy.

Writing in the caption, Bryant explains that two years ago, his daughter’s team lost to the same team. “I asked what they planned on doing with the 4th place trophy they had just ‘won’ and they all said ‘throw it away.’ I told them instead to put it somewhere in their room where it would be the first thing they see when they wake up to remind themselves what they will never “win” again. We will win some and lose some but we will continue to do THE WORK. Cry about it or be about it was my message. They chose to be about it,” he continued.

It was the third post, however, the led to trouble when Bryant shared a photo from two years earlier of the bummed-out girls and their fourth-place trophy.

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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,” he 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, meaning she enjoyed dance more than ball which is fine. Now? She eats sleeps and breathes the game.”

As People reports, Bryant calling out the girl who skipped the game for her dance recital led him to get shredded in the post’s comments.

“Imagine being in 8th grade and getting roasted by Kobe,” wrote one of Bryant’s Twitter followers, while another added, “Lol Kobe throwing shade at a little girl.”

Another wrote, “He ain’t holding back on that one girl who went to that recital,” while another follower wrote, “How you about to call out a seventh grader for not being committed to what YOU want. The other girls are committed, fine, but that recital could mean a lot to that girl. Can’t put her on blast on social media like that.”

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The avalanche of criticism led Bryant to walk back his comments and insist his intent was not to shame the girl who went to the recital.

“That wasn’t shade. She enjoyed dancing more than hooping at that time and there’s nothing wrong with that,” Bryant responded in a comment. “Just pointing out that ball wasn’t the primary focus Now? She LOVES basketball.”

In an effort to make amends, Bryant posted a video of his 12-year-old self dancing in a school show.

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