Kobe Bryant once called Luke Walton the next Phil Jackson?
Kobe Bryant once referred to his former Los Angeles Lakers teammates and current Golden State Warriors interim head coach Luke Walton as the next incarnation of Phil Jackson. But not in the complimentary way one might assume.
With Walton’s Warriors standing on the precipice of making NBA history Tuesday night in a tilt against Kobe’s Lakers — a win would move them to 16-0, the best regular-season start ever — Bryant recalled a time when he ripped his former teammate by likening him to Jackson.
Kobe on Warriors interim coach Luke Walton: "I used to call him the next Phil. He's an average player w/ a messed up back."
— Mark Medina (@MarkG_Medina) November 23, 2015
Walton without a doubt is doing a phenomenal job while temporarily taking over for Steve Kerr, who took a leave of absence to deal with complications from offseason back surgeries. And Walton is receiving justified accolades for how he’s led the team to a historic start.
Whether Bryant is attempting to point out that perhaps it’s time to pump the brakes a bit before hailing Walton as the “Next Big Coaching Thing” in the NBA or simply using Tuesday’s match-up to recall a great potshot once made at the expense of his former teammate is unclear. Although it’s probably a bit of both.