While appearing on Uninterrupted's "Open Run" podcast with Jesse Williams and Stefan Marolachakis, Walton recalled a story from his rookie year with the Lakers in 2003-04. Kobe Bryant made an example of the recovering University of Arizona grad.
"I remember one time my rookie year, I came in a little, uh, him [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 says. "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 ended up playing with Bryant for nine seasons, winning two titles along the way. Bryant played for the Lakers for 20 seasons before retiring this past spring. Walton, who was an assistant coach for the Warriors over the last two seasons, takes over a new era with new faces, but old expectations, in Los Angeles.
-- Follow Jeffrey Eisenband on Twitter @JeffEisenband.