Sportress of Blogitude

Kobe Bryant, Derek Fisher & Teammates Donate $65K To Laid-Off Lakers Employees

In a totally classy move, team captains Kobe Bryant and Derek Fisher led the way and voted that they and their Los Angeles Lakers teammates donate a share of their playoff bonus to employees who have been affected by the NBA lockout. Chris Bodaken and Patrick O’Keefe, who work in the team’s video department, are two of the 20 employees who have been laid off by the organization as a cost-cutting move. Due to the players’ generosity, they will now split $65,000 to ease the financial strain.

Via the Los Angeles Times:

“He always looks out for people who are lower on the totem pole,” O’Keefe said.

Said Bodaken: “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.”

Well done, Kobe Bryant and assorted teammates. While it may seem like a paltry sum to the players (they reportedly received a total sum of $604,000 in playoff bonuses), that $65,000 is going to go a long way in helping these two dedicated employees weather the unfavorable circumstances put upon them and their families due to the lockout. At least for the foreseeable future. It’s stories like these that help us remember a very important detail regarding the lockout: it’s not only about the millionaire players and billionaire owners. Regular people who work behind the scenes and have little or no input into the negotiation, but perhaps have the biggest stake in the need for a quick resolution, are affected by the lockout as well.

Lakers donate part of playoff bonus to help staff during lockout [Los Angeles Times]