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Kobe Bryant tried, failed to write an inspirational post about his youth basketball team

Photo: Nick Laham (Getty Images)

It’s pretty impressive watching someone become a legend in their chosen profession, only to achieve an equally astounding level of talent in a completely unrelated field. Take, for instance, Tom Waits’ seamless transitions between music and acting, or Donald Glover’s effortless floatation between film, television, comedy, and music. And let’s not forget Kobe Bryant’s legendary abilities both as a basketball player, and a jerk.

Bryant’s latest achievement in the latter came earlier this week, when he got on Instagram to post a photo of himself from two years ago standing behind a youth basketball team he coached while they unhappily held up their fourth-place trophies. Was this a throwback piece of encouragement for his former pupils, perhaps praising just how far they’ve come in such a short span of time? Maybe he simply wanted to reminisce about his tenure as the Mamba League’s coach, and how his experience teaching aspiring athletes is just as, if not more, rewarding than any NBA Championship ring he’s earned?


Nah. He wanted to remind everyone that the Mamba League were a bunch of losers back then, and despite recently winning a game against the team that once beat them, Kobe hasn’t forgotten the shame they brought upon him.

Keep in mind that this is Bryant’s edited Instagram post, after his original generated so much blowback that had to go in and attempt to smooth things over by adding the line, “meaning she enjoyed dance more than ball which is fine.” Outlets like Mashable and Sports Illustrated have the original post documented for posterity’s sake:

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


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Andrew Paul

Andrew Paul's work is recently featured by Rolling Stone, GQ, The Forward, and The Believer, as well as McSweeney's Internet Tendency and TNY's Daily Shouts.