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.

Me: Hey.
[No response.]
Me: Hello.
[No response.]
Me: hello?
Kobe: Who’s this?
Me: It’s me. Shea Serrano. I’m messaging about that tweet you sent out looking for the best Vines.
Kobe: Who?
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.
Kobe: Wait…
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!!
Me: okay
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
Me: okay
Kobe: Nip Hardaway!
Me: OKAY KOBE
Kobe: Nip Van Exel!
Me: dude
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!
Me: :(
Kobe: Stephon Marnipple!
Me: you’re not even trying anymore
Kobe: Nip Archibald!
[No response.]
Kobe: Chauncey Nipplups!
[No response.]
Kobe: Chris Nipaul
Me: okay that one’s actually pretty good


Me: yo
Kobe: sup
Me: so this vine thing, what’s that for?
Kobe: am I saved in your phone?
Me: huh?
Kobe: my number. Do you have it saved?
Me: yeah
Kobe: under what?
Me: what do you mean?
Kobe: the name
Me: oh. Um, it’s Kobe
Kobe: that’s not gonna work
Me: ?
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: whatever
[No response.]
Me: hello?
[No response.]
Me: duuuuuuuuuuude jesus christ fine there okay I changed it
Asshole: You did?
Me: yeah
Asshole: to what?
Me: BLACK MAMBA
Asshole: are you sure
Me: yeah, yeah
Asshole: okay. BLACK MAMBA out.
Me: :’)
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?
Me: yes
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
Me: no
BLACK MAMBA: are you sure?
Me: mostly he talks about hot dogs
BLACK MAMBA: fuckin’ hot dog fistfight again
Me: YES!
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.
Me: okay
BLACK MAMBA: and then when he does go like this
[One minute.]
[Two minutes.]
[Three minutes.]
[Four minutes.]
Me: hello?
[A Vine arrives from user BeanBryantVine of a Superman doll on fire.]
Me: dude
BLACK MAMBA: BLACK MAMBA out
Me: jesus christ

Filed Under: Kobe Bryant, NBA

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Shea Serrano is a staff writer for Grantland. He recently published his first book, Bun B’s Rap Coloring and Activity Book.

Archive @ SheaSerrano