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Kobe Bryant's Twitter account has short shelf-life

September 8, 2011 |  6:46 am

Kobe Bryant

Kobe Bryant instantly sent the Internet world into a frenzy.

It wasn't because footage appeared showing him hitting a game-winning shot in the Drew League, beating rapper Bow Wow in one-on-one or throwing a 360-degree dunk at his summer camp. Those videos already leaked this summer.

What caused a viral buzz Wednesday evening involved Bryant opening a Twitter account. But just as Bryant's account (@KobeBryant) immediately attracted 35,000 followers within a three-hour span, the site abruptly shut down. Both ESPN Los Angeles' Dave McMenamin and Yahoo Sports' Adrian Wojnarowski talked to a source close to Bryant who said the release proved premature and the Twitter feed will return at some point.

Still, there were a few things intriguing about Bryant's launch.

First, what prompted Bryant to reconsider his stance on Twitter? After all, he widely dismissed the social media tool as a waste of time.

Secondly, Bryant's introduction to Twitter surely captured his competitiveness and personality. His Facebook account read, "Welcome Kobe to Twitter" above an avatar featuring the Black Mamba snake swallowing the blue bird representing Twitter's mascot. His first tweet read, "Can you hear me now!?!?," a boastful introduction that may have also suggested he's endorsing Verizon. His account followed 15 people, included NBA players (Dwyane Wade, Dwight Howard, Carmelo Anthony and Chris Paul), MLB players (Phillies' Jimmy Rollins, Cardinals' Albert Pujols) and rappers (Drake, Jay-Z, Kanye West and Lil Wayne).

Lastly, how would Bryant use the site? Would he simply promote his endorsements, such as Nike and Turkish Airlines? Would he answer fan questions, such as his take on Mike Brown or the NBA lockout? Would all the messages simply be handled by a representative or will the Black Mamba really be the one behind the curtain?

Those questions went unanswered of course, since the account soon shut down. But Laker fans and the general public will find out soon enough.


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--Mark Medina

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Credit: Mark D. Smith / US Presswire