Kobe, Team Donate to Laid-Off Laker Employees

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In the eyes of many, greed has been the headline of the NBA summer.

The obvious story has been the NBA lockout, and when you finally sift through all the politics and positioning, money ultimately rules the day. Much of the same can be said for the Lakers organization, who laid off more than 20 employees earlier this summer, despite raising ticket prices (again) and inking a TV deal with Time Warner worth about $3 billion.

Amidst deficient reports from Wall Street and another rise in unemployment, those are the types of stories that detach fans from the athletes and organizations they so faithfully support. And this is the type of story that helps restore your faith in them…

In an effort insisted on by Kobe Bryant, the Lakers pooled together a percentage of their playoff bonus from last season and split it between a pair of long-time staff members who were released by the Lakers earlier this summer. Chris Bodaken and Patrick O’Keefe, who were both part of the Lakers video staff, reportedly split $65k. Bodaken offered nothing but praise for Bryant:

“At the end of the day, he told us he was going to take care of us and he did, and that’s not how most people in the world operate. He not only talks the talk. He walks it.”

In addition to the money pooled together from playoff bonuses, Lakers forward Luke Walton personally provided financial gifts to each member of the Lakers training staff following last season.

While money remains the topic of conversation in the NBA, at-least in this story, it finally has a positive spin.

You can check out the whole story over at the L.A. Times.

Jason Riley is the executive director of LakerNation.com. He also pens a regular opinion column, Out of Bounds, and is the co-host of Voice of the Nation: Fastbreak. He currently splits his time in Los Angeles, CA and Carlsbad, CA.
  • daboss1848

    AWESOME!!  Good for KB and the guys – the counter to our now low-life whale scum ownership.

  • John

    Wow, how nice !

  • Petey

    Can Kobe donate some of his salary to the troops too?

    • Luke Sucks

      NO.  Why should anyone donate to the government.  The troops are overseas because of the politicians and big business.  Let them pay for the damm war and not the US taxpayers!

      • Petey

        You are stupid, the troops are fighting for YOUR freedom. Yes they work for the government, but they are not politicians. You sir are dumb arrogant mother sucker that can’t even play basketball. Why say Luke sucks if you aren’t even playing for the Lakers! What a D-Bag, have some respect for your fellow men and women who sacrifice their lives so that you can troll forums. 

        • Oh wow hai

          Bringing up the troops into this discussion was as irrelevant as Luke Walton being overpaid to do nothing…

          And to think improving on college tuition and jobs are stepped over for the sake of funding a meaningless war that might as well have been the product of the government’s imagination. You’re the stupid one.

  • Oh wow hai!

    “Financial gifts from Luke Walton.”

    What a joke, he’d do more of a service by forgoing the rest of his cancer of a contract and then maybe he can say he contributed to these laid off workers.

  • Oh wow hai!

    “Financial gifts from Luke Walton.”

    What a joke, he’d do more of a service by forgoing the rest of his cancer of a contract and then maybe he can say he contributed to these laid off workers.

  • laffsatu

    whats kobe make per game?

  • Hoowah!

    Luke shoud donate his last year’s and the remaining of his contract altogether to St. Jude Children’s Hospital.  He’ll shake off the negativity that’s surrounded him through his entire career.  Come on Luke do the right thing and retire already!!

  • Luke Sucks

    Classy move by Kobe and other Laker players.  But…..Luke still sucks.