The life of an NBA rookie can be a harsh one, but Los Angeles Lakers rookie Larry Nance Jr. should’ve known better than to think he’d have a seat on the bench for the Lakers-Mavericks matchup on Tuesday night.
After all, aging star Kobe Bryant was a scratch from the lineup for the game with the Dirk Nowitzki-led Dallas Mavericks. As Kobe found himself looking for a seat on the bench with under five to go in the first quarter, someone had to go. That meant Nance Jr. got relegated to a seat on the floor.
Not only did Bryant see fit for the rookie to get gone from the bench, but he also got a clear chuckle out of the rest of the team sitting on the bench late in the first quarter of this contest. Robert Sarce, who is next to Bryant, has perhaps the best of the reactions in this video with a great look at Nance Jr. and a hearty chuckle to himself. Though the laugh might have been out of relief it wasn’t him.
Bryant wasn’t done making headlines, though, in a game he wasn’t even playing in. The next time, it came at the expense of his own team.
With the game tied late in the fourth, Bryant had to bare witness to Dirk working his late-game magic right in front of Kobe and the Lakers’ bench.
Dirk hit a game-winning jumper with two seconds left, and Kobe couldn’t resist giving him the good old pat on the butt of approval we’ve seen so many times before.
At least Kobe didn’t offer Dirk a seat on the bench. Who knows who would have been booted.