Text Messages to Kobe Bryant: The Great American Vine Competition
Kobe Bryant has a cell phone and I have a cell phone and so I sent him some text messages.
Kobe: Who’s this?
Me: It’s me. Shea Serrano. I’m messaging about that tweet you sent out looking for the best Vines.
Me: Dude. Shea. We met, like, six months ago at a meet and greet in Houston.
Kobe: Do you know how many of those I do?
Me: I was the one with no shirt. I was rapping the words to “Started From The Bottom” except I’d made it into a Kobe version (“Started from the Hornets, now we’re here.”) I had your name painted across my chest.
Me: See, you remember.
Kobe: The guy that painted his nipples like little basketballs!?
Me: well, I mean that was a small part of it. Remember the song though?
Kobe: oh shit, man! Haha. And then you kept trying to flex your chest and saying that you were dribbling! But first you said you had to do some pushups that way they’d be pumped!!
Kobe: you kept shouting, “KILLER CROSSOVER” and then would try and flex them real fast
Me: again, just a small part of it. That song took me eight or nine hours to write. Did you like it? You never said.
Kobe: you were like the Tim Hardaway of nipples
Kobe: Nip Hardaway!
Me: OKAY KOBE
Kobe: Nip Van Exel!
Kobe: And you kept trying to get me to dribble them with my finger
Me: well, I mean
Kobe: and there were hairs sticking out of them!
Me: okay okay gross okay I get it yeah you remember me
Kobe: and everyone started calling you Spider Nipples because the hairs were long and spaced apart so it looked like spider legs!
Me: alright man this was fun cool talking to you
Kobe: Rajon Rondohmygodlookatthosespidernipples!
Kobe: Stephon Marnipple!
Me: you’re not even trying anymore
Kobe: Nip Archibald!
Kobe: Chauncey Nipplups!
Kobe: Chris Nipaul
Me: okay that one’s actually pretty good
Me: so this vine thing, what’s that for?
Kobe: am I saved in your phone?
Kobe: my number. Do you have it saved?
Kobe: under what?
Me: what do you mean?
Kobe: the name
Me: oh. Um, it’s Kobe
Kobe: that’s not gonna work
Kobe: I need you to change it
Me: for real?
Kobe: Yes. BLACK MAMBA. All caps.
Me: FOR REAL? That’s dumb.
Kobe: I’m not texting with you if you don’t
Me: duuuuuuuuuuude jesus christ fine there okay I changed it
Asshole: You did?
Asshole: to what?
Me: BLACK MAMBA
Asshole: are you sure
Me: yeah, yeah
Asshole: okay. BLACK MAMBA out.
Asshole: it says Asshole doesn’t it?
Me: … I’m sorry
Me: okay but for real, what’s with the Vine thing?
BLACK MAMBA: wait, you live in Houston?
BLACK MAMBA: have you seen Dwight?
Me: what? Seen? No. I text him every once in a while
BLACK MAMBA: does he talk about me
BLACK MAMBA: are you sure?
Me: mostly he talks about hot dogs
BLACK MAMBA: fuckin’ hot dog fistfight again
BLACK MAMBA: listen, do me a favor
Me: okay, sure
BLACK MAMBA: okay, so the next time you see him, I want you to walk up to him and be like, “Dwight, I talked to Kobe. He said to give you this.” And then tell him to open his hand.
BLACK MAMBA: and then when he does go like this
[A Vine arrives from user BeanBryantVine of a Superman doll on fire.]
BLACK MAMBA: BLACK MAMBA out
Me: jesus christ
More from Shea Serrano
More Kobe Bryant
“As a player, you have to go to college, you have to develop your skills and so forth and so on and then come to the league. So, we kind of got sold on that, sold on that dream a little bit and, fortunately, I didn’t really listen too much to it. Neither did [Kevin Garnett], neither did LeBron [James] and that worked out pretty well for our careers.”