The time Kobe Bryant lit up a hung-over Luke Walton at Lakers practice

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Kobe Bryant has genuinely and sarcastically praised Luke Walton’s coaching ability.

Now that he’s coaching the Lakers, Walton explained the influence Kobe had on him when they were teammates in Los Angeles. Walton brought up one practice in particular.

Walton on the Open Run podcast:

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 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.” But in Kobe’s mind, in his eyes, it was like, “No. I see and smell weakness. I’m going to destroy you today.” And he taught me that lesson. He taught me that lesson. I mean, he probably scored 70-something in practice that day, and I’m begging for help. None of the teammates would help.

But his killer instinct and his work ethic, they’ll stick with me forever.

Sounds about right.