Kobe once scored 70 on hung-over Walton in practice
When Kobe Bryant smells weakness (or in this case, alcohol), he strikes like the Black Mamba that he is.
Luke Walton, the current head coach of the Los Angeles Lakers and former teammate of the newly retired Bryant from 2003 to 2012, recounted a memorable practice from his playing days during a recent appearance on Uninterrupted's "Open Run" podcast.
I remember one time my rookie year, I came in a little, uh, him (Kobe) and Shaq like to do this as, I think it was just rookies, but any young guy, I probably had too much to drink the night before, 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 no one was allowed to help me on defense, and that I had to guard him the entire practice.
I was laughing at first like, 'Oh, this is funny,' but in Kobe’s mind, in his eyes, it was like, 'No, I see and smell weakness, I’m going to destroy you today.' He taught me that lesson. He probably scored 70-something in practice that day, and I was begging for help, none of the teammates would help. But yeah, his killer instinct and his work ethic, they’ll stick with me forever.
One thing Bryant was never known for was going easy on his teammates. No matter where you were in the pecking order of the roster, the five-time champion played no favorites on the hardwood.
Perhaps Walton can bring in Bryant at some point during the 2016-17 regular season in case his players get a bit lackadaisical, or, better yet, if they come to train after a night out on the town. The 38-year-old former 18-time All-Star could still teach them a lesson they'd never forget.
- with h/t to Complex