Luke Walton played nine years with Kobe Bryant, which means Kobe crushed his soul on at least one occasion.
Walton was on Bleacher Report’s “Open Run” podcast recently and relayed one quintessentially Kobe anecdote.
One day, Walton showed up to practice a little worse for wear after a long night. Kobe, smelling Walton’s weakness, decided to ruin him.
Silver Screen and Roll has the transcript.
“I probably had too much to drink the night before,” Walton recalled. “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.”
How is Kobe going to find an outlet for his sociopathic competitive instinct in retirement? He’ll be the worst golf partner ever.