"In honor of the name change #13thpick #nbadraft #96 #freshface," the caption read.
As if people of Charlotte didn't have enough problems. Their team is still the Bobcats, they still stink and they fell to fourth in the NBA's draft lottery. Now this.
The Hornets selected Kobe with the 13th overall pick in 1996, but then traded his draft rights to the Los Angeles Lakers. And the rest his history. Literally.
Kobe has gone on to earn 15 All-Star selections (14 appearances), win five championships and is considered one of the greatest players in NBA history.
Meanwhile, Charlotte has watched the Hornets move to New Orleans, endured nearly a decade's worth of disappointment with the Bobcats and been forced to wonder what could have been had Bryant never been traded.
Which makes Kobe's social-media jabbing cruel. And hysterical.
The city of Charlotte has lamented what never was for nearly two decades now, and it's not going to become any easier to accept as it prepares to play host to the Hornets nickname once again.
To be fair, it's not like Charlotte was ever close to retaining Bryant.
Back in 2012, Kobe recounted the events of 1996 to the New York Post. Shortly after the draft, he spoke with then Hornets coach Dave Cowens.
"You know what the deal is, right?" Cowens asked him.
Kobe indicated that he did.
“Well, that’s good, because we don’t need you anyway," Cowens said.
Perhaps Charlotte didn't need him then—it won 54 games that season—but the Bobcats/Hornets could sure use him now.
Oh well. They'll always have the image of him in a Hornets cap, I suppose. They'll never forget about that.
Kobe won't let them.