Luke Walton‘s cameo on the Open Run podcast has already produced one excellent tidbit of information: Richard Jefferson rubs the Cavaliers winning a title in his face on the regular. Now we have a second story that is so much better, mostly because it involves Kobe Bryant being an honest-to-god crazy person.
Walton recalled going out to drink one night during his rookie season, and the following day, the Lakers had a practice. Then, this happened (transcript via Silver Screen and Roll):
“So I came in, I was a rookie, I felt good, and they could smell some alcohol on me, and Kobe informed the rest of the team that nobody was allowed to help me on defense, and that I had to guard him the entire practice.
“And I was laughing at first, like ‘oh, this is funny,’ Walton continued. “But in Kobe’s mind, in his eyes, he was like ‘no, i see and smell weakness, I’m going to destroy you today.’ He taught me a lesson (laughing), he taught me a lesson. He probably scored 70-something in practice that day, and I’m begging for help, but none of my teammates would help. His killer instinct, and his work ethic will stick with me forever.”
There are, like, three things on earth that are probably worse than having to guard Kobe straight up when he’s in his prime and you’re hungover like crazy. It provided Walton with a great teaching moment, but on that day, this was probably the worst thing on earth.
It’s not all bad for Walton, though. At least he did better against Kobe while he had a hangover than the 2005-06 Toronto Raptors did against him when they were all sober (as far as we know).
(Via Silver Screen and Roll)