HoopsWorld: The Los Angeles Lakers re-signed forward Luke Walton over the summer. Last year Walton dramatically improved his outside shot and proved to be a solid contributor until an ankle injury derailed his season.
The offseason was a challenge for the Lakers as All-Star Kobe Bryant publicly demanded a trade. At Media Day in El Segundo, tension filled the room as every Laker was present except Bryant. About 35 minutes into the event, Bryant arrived and suddenly everything was back to normal. Walton was on hand to give his thoughts:
So Kobe Bryant just walked in the room. Was there any worry or a touch of doubt that he wouldn’t be here?
Nah. Kobe wants to play just as much if not more than any of us. I didn’t know when he’d show up but I knew he’d be at training camp eventually.
Did you talk to him at all this summer?
Just one time he called to congratulate me when I signed my contract.
Was it a difficult summer with the turmoil? How did you approach it?
I went down to San Diego, worked on my game and enjoyed my summer. I figured I’d let everything play out on its own. There’s nothing I can do about during the summer so why stress out over it?