Sacramento Kings head coach Luke Walton reveals once he came to practice hungover and Kobe Bryant made him pay the price. Walton, who was selected by the Los Angeles Lakers in the second round of the 2003 NBA draft, drunk a little bit too much the night before practice and Bryant told the rest of the team that no one was allowed to guard him except Walton.
Bryant, who was one of the most gifted scorers in NBA history, was torching Walton throughout the entire practice and toward the end Walton was "begging for help." Bryant was all about hard work and he wanted to teach then the rookie Walton lesson.
Walton on Bryant destroying him when he arrived to practice hungover
“I remember one time my rookie year, I came in a little, uh (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,” Walton said on Bleacher Report's "Open Run" podcast, per Lakers Daily.
“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”.
Walton and Bryant played for a decade together as Walton was a part of the Lakers teams that won back-to-back NBA titles in 2009 and 2010. Later, Walton was the Lakers' head coach for three seasons before he was fired in 2019.