Kobe Bryant dunks on the children he coached because they made fourth place – Mashable

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By Morgan Sung

Kobe Bryant continues to make regrettable life decisions. 

The NBA star turned youth basketball coach was not happy about his team taking home fourth place two years ago, so he brought it up again on Instagram. The Mamba League doesn’t look particularly happy either. 

To celebrate the Mamba League’s 115-27 victory, he decided to remind everyone of the time they lost against the team they had just won against. Bryant posted what can only be described as a perfect snapshot of prepubescent disappointment on Instagram: a group photo of the team holding their fourth place trophies. 

His original caption was impossibly passive aggressive, and called out one player for missing the game for a dance recital.

“So that should tell you where her focus was at this time,” he snarked. “The beauty of coaching is growing the players from the ground up.”

The beauty of coaching also includes dunking on your young mentees, apparently. Here’s the original caption, as immortalized in a Sports Illustrated screenshot

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. From the original 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

After backlash for being, for lack of a better phrase, kind of a dick, he clarified that “doing a dance to miss the game isn’t a bad thing.” 

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

He also changed the caption, softening the harsh dig at the poor dancer/basketball player who missed the game but not walking back the passive aggression. 

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.

The limp change didn’t stop the flood of memes, though. 

Parent of 5th grade girl: “Honey you did great in your dance recital”

5th grade girl: “Thanks mommy”

Kobe Bryant: “So, do you like being a quitter?”

Parent: “How the fuck did you get into our house Kobe?”

— Barry McCockiner (@SexyTroopLover) September 11, 2019

STOP pitting different nba legends against each other

michael jordan is AMAZING

magic johnson is REMARKABLE

lebron james is ELECTRIFYING

kobe bryant

kareem abdul jabbar is PHENOMENAL

— nb (@nicjbae) September 11, 2019

I just love the idea of a kid having Kobe for a coach and telling him she’ll miss a game for a dance recital. Him being Kobe Bryant meant nothing to her lmfao. https://t.co/5Z3Axud9fw

— G (@__GDB) September 11, 2019

Twitter users haven’t forgotten that the Academy Award-winning basketball player was kicked off a film festival jury last year, after protests regarding a 2003 sexual assault allegation picked up steam in the wake of the #MeToo movement. (Bryant apologized to his accuser, but still claimed the sexual encounter was consensual.)

sometimes you gotta roast a child in front of ten million followers to protect the #brand. whatev, not the end of the world, it’s not like Kobe ever raped anyb(holds earpiece) actually,

— Owen Ellickson (@onlxn) September 11, 2019

Where is that girl now? What did her dance coach think of her choosing basketball over dance? Was there a High School Musical-type internal struggle to prioritize her passions? 

Her head is in the game, but is her heart in the song?

Bryant didn’t disclose what made his mentee choose ball in the end, but we like to think a Disney Channel Original Movie is in the works. 

Image: kobe bryant / instagram

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