Luke Walton recalls mistreatment by Kobe Bryant after ‘smelling alcohol’ on him during rookie year training
Hardly any player in NBA history has been able to match Kobe Bryant’s competitiveness and desire to win – something many players learned the hard way when they shared the court with the Los Angeles Lakers legend.
Since his high school days, Bryant – preaching the legendary “Mamba Mentality” – berated his teammates if they didn’t fully commit to the game of basketball. The five-time NBA champion’s perfectionism has led to feuds with other Lakers stars, including Shaquille O’Neal and Dwight Howard.
Former Lakers forward and head coach Luke Walton has revealed he got a taste of Bryant’s wrath during his freshman year. During a recent appearance on Bleacher Report’s ‘Open Run’ podcast, Walton said Kobe had no mercy on him when he smelled the booze in practice once during the 2003 season. -04:
“I remember one time in my rookie year, I went in a little… [Kobe] and Shaq like to do that cause, I think it was just rookies, but any young man – I probably had too much to drink the night before, so I walked in, I was a rookie, felt good and they could smell the alcohol on me a little bit,” Walton said. “And Kobe informed the rest of the team that no one was allowed to help me on defense and that I had to keep him on all practice.
“At first I was laughing like, ‘Oh, that’s funny,’ but in Kobe’s mind, in his eyes, it was like, ‘No, I see and feel the weakness. I’m going to destroy you today today. He taught me that lesson. He probably scored 70 points in practice that day, and I was asking for help, none of the teammates wanted to help me. But, yes, his instinct to killer and his work ethic, they will stay with me forever.
Walton spent seven more full seasons with the Lakers, winning back-to-back NBA championships with Bryant in 2009 and 2010. During that time, the two seemingly bonded as Kobe was one of Walton’s defenders during his troubled stint as a coach. LA head coach.
Before the Purple and Gold sacked Walton after leading the team to a 37-45 record in 2018-19 – LeBron James’ first season in Los Angeles – Bryant defended Walton by pointing out the number of injuries suffered by the Lakers that year.
Lou Williams recalls how Bryant stopped Warriors’ Stephen Curry in his final NBA season
Towards the end of his career, Bryant was no longer the same dominant player he had become in the 2000s. However, he still showed his greatness at times – even at the age of 37 in his final NBA season. .
Former Kobe teammate Lou Williams has recalled how the Lakers legend stopped Golden State Warriors superstar Steph Curry during his farewell campaign.
“After that, I figure everything I heard about Kobe Bryant is true,” Williams said.