Kobe Bryant is continuing to explain himself after calling out a 7th grade girl on Instagram for missing a youth basketball game for a dance recital ... saying he did the same thing when he was a kid.
... and there's video proof!!!
Here's a 12-year-old Kobe -- in the green hat -- dancing his face off to "Ice Ice Baby." Nice moves.
Kobe included the caption, "When I was 12, I skipped basketball for two weeks so I could dance in a school show. I’m all about diversifying while young, then locking in on your passion."
What's interesting is Kobe is trying to dance his way out of the hot seat over the caption he posted on Wednesday ... in which he calls out a girl from his daughter's youth basketball team for attending a dance recital instead. Kobe updated the caption after catching hell online but the Internet sees all.
Here's the original caption ...
"Here’s our fourth place 'winners' picture lol six of the kids in the picture stayed with me and worked every single day to get better and continue to work to this day. The 7th player (not in pic) missed this game for a dance recital so that should tell you where her focus was at this time."
"From the original 7 we have added a player TWO years YOUNGER (6th grade now) a player who's team in our area folded and a player who's family moved here from Tennessee. The beauty of coaching is growing te players from the ground up. That journey continues. #Mambas."
Kobe later updated the caption to explain himself ... saying the photo is 2 years old and the girl now lives and breathes basketball:
"The 7th player (not in pic) missed this game for a dance recital so that should tell you where her focus was at this time, meaning she enjoyed dance more than ball which is fine. Now? She eats sleeps and breaths the game. So from this original group of 7 we have added a player TWO years YOUNGER (6th grade now), a player who’s team in our area folded and a player who’s family moved here from Tennessee."
The backlash continued ... so Kobe continued to explain himself online.
"Sorry if it came across as a slight, trust me it wasn’t. I was just giving the reason for her not being in the pic."
Kobe also says he did NOT instruct the girls to scowl during the team photo -- "They chose not to smile for the pic I actually followed their lead."
"Doing a dance to miss the game isn’t a bad thing. That’s not what I was saying. I was just giving context as to why she wasn’t in the picture. All my girls play/played diff sports. It’s all good and For the record I followed their lead on not smiling. They HATED those trophies."