Lakers Players Donated Playoff Bonuses to Fired Team Staff

by August 19, 2011
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Kobe Bryant and other teammates chipped in some of their postseason earnings to help out Laker team staff members who weren’t retained due to the lockout. From the LA Times: “Kobe Bryant insisted on giving some of the team’s playoff bonus to two members of the Lakers’ video department whose contracts were not renewed after the season. Chris Bodaken and Patrick O’Keefe split about $65,000 of the Lakers’ playoff bonus. Bodaken started with the Lakers as a ball boy in 1986 and spent the last 10 seasons as their director of video services. O’Keefe was the Lakers’ video coordinator for six seasons. They both hope to be re-hired by the team when the NBA lockout ends. For now, they are thankful for Bryant’s financial gesture. ‘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.’ The Lakers laid off about 20 employees for cost-cutting reasons before the lockout, which has shown no sign of a resolution since it began July 1. … Lakers reserve forward Luke Walton took an extra step after the season by providing individual financial gifts to members of the training staff.”