Players are given some incentives when they reach the playoffs, and even more when they have series wins. Kobe Bryant had other plans than just keeping it to himself. Instead, he insisted on splitting the team’s playoff bonus between to two members of the Lakers’ video department, Chris Bodaken and Patrick O’Keefe, whose contracts were not renewed after the season.
Both Bodaken and O’Keefe have spent many years with the organization, and the the players decided that others needed the help more than them. Bodaken, who has been with the Lakers since 1986, spent the last 10 seasons as their director of video services. O’Keefe, on the other hand, was the Lakers’ video coordinator for six seasons.
“He (Bryant) always looks out for people who are lower on the totem pole,” shares O’Keefe. Chris Bodaken added, “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.”