Often praised for his exemplary mentality, but also criticized for his sometimes tyrannical leadership at the Lakers, Kobe Bryant let no misconduct pass. One of his former teammates understood this very quickly… in the middle of a hangover!
Since his disappearance, the testimonies of ex-teammates concerning him are obviously intended to be filled with admiration and benevolence. However, it was not so easy and appreciable to evolve alongside Kobe Bryant during his illustrious career. The famous Mamba Mentality that he constantly applied left little room for relaxation and guilty pleasures in the ranks of the Lakers.
Obsessed with winning, Bean logically sought to get the most out of his partners, who therefore had to show themselves to be irreproachable in their behavior, on and off the field. When the latter did not respect this code of conduct, their leader therefore tried to punish them in his own way. And even the youngest were no exception to this rule.
When Kobe Bryant punished Luke Walton for being drunk
Guest of theOpenRun Podcast, Luke Walton recounted his own misadventure experienced in training with Kobe. When he had just joined the league and the Lakers during the 2003-04 season, the double NBA champion had the bad idea of kicking the bottle a little too much a few hours before a session. A lack of professionalism that the Black Mamba immediately made him pay:
I remember once, during my rookie season, I had a little too much to drink the day before practice, but I felt good. I was a rookie. But Kobe and Shaq smelled I reeked of alcohol when I arrived. At that point, Kobe informed the rest of the team that no one was allowed to help me on defense, and that I was going to have to defend on him the entire practice.
Walton, who had only been seeing Kobe for a few weeks then, initially believed in a simple good-natured hazing on his part. It didn’t take him long to realize he was wrong.
I laughed first like, “Oh, that’s funny,” but in Kobe’s mind, it was more, “No, I see and feel a weakness, so I’m going to destroy you today.” today. He taught me a good lesson. He probably scored 70 points or something that day. No matter how much I begged for help, none of my teammates came. But yeah, his killer instinct and work ethic will always be etched in my memory.
It is therefore a safe bet that the former winger angelino has not participated in any training in this state over his eight other seasons with Vino!
Young and naive, Luke Walton allowed himself to show up at Lakers training the day after a drunken evening. An error that still haunts him, after Kobe Bryant decided to martyr him for this professional misconduct!