Kobe Bryant has thrown down the gauntlet to rookie Larry Nance Jr: Dunk on Dwight Howard during Thursday night’s game between the Los Angeles Lakers and Houston Rockets.
Nance Jr, like his father, has been a human highlight reel since entering the league this season. On Tuesday night, during the Lakers’ rare victory over Milwaukee Bucks, Nance Jr. threw down a monster jam over 7-footer John Henson (watch video above) and brought the fans at Staples Center to their feet.
Bryant, a former Slam Dunk champion, had a huge smile on his face when he saw the rookie go to work. “I thought he (Nance) had hit the max. I thought he was going to get fouled, but he just kept going up and up and up,” Bryant said of Nance’s spectacular dunk after the Lakers’ victory. Bryant didn’t stop there. He said, “I’ll let you ask (Nance Jr.) what I told him during the time out.”
Remember, Bryant famously “poster-ized” Howard earlier in his career when the big man was still a part of Orlando Magic. It’s no wonder that the Laker legend wants young Nance Jr. to follow in his footsteps.
On Wednesday, the L.A. media tracked down the Montana rookie to inquire what Bryant told him during the time out. “(Bryant) said when I grow up, I’ll be able to do that on Dwight Howard,” said Nance Jr.
Interesting. Because only a few days back, Nance Jr. tried to dunk on Howard during the Lakers’ road game in Houston. Needless to say, he was turned away.
Nance Jr would be a few days older when he gets another shot to impress Kobe Bryant. Would he able to dunk on Howard tomorrow night? “We’ll see if I’ve grown up,” the rookie said with a smile.