Lakers Players Donate Part Of Playoff Bonus To Laid Off Training Staff

Lawrence K. Ho / Los Angeles Times; Lee Jin-man / Associated Press

There’s been a talk as of late about how the Lakers organization hasn’t been treating it’s long standing employees well because of the lockout. One thing is for sure, the players absolutely appreciate what the staff does for them.

In fact, before the Lakers season came to an early end, Kobe Bryant along with the other team captain, Derek Fisher insisted on giving a portion of the team’s $604,000 playoff bonus to two members of the Lakers’ video department whose contracts weren’t 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.

The Lakers laid off about 20 employees for cost-cutting reasons before the lockout, including assistant general manager Ronnie Lester, four of the team’s five athletic trainers and almost the entire scouting staff.

Luke Walton has also personally come out of pocket to help other staff members but those specific dollar amounts aren’t available.

The “little people” are the ones that are often forgotten in this whole lockout business. It’s nice to see that the players aren’t so wrapped up in themselves that they remember that.


Curtsy to Los Angeles Times