Luke Walton explains the one thing his Lakers will take from Kobe Bryant

BY Andrew Lynch • June 21, 2016

In what will go down as a stunning upset, it took until almost halfway through new Lakers coach Luke Walton's introductory news conference for someone to ask about Kobe Bryant.

On Tuesday afternoon and to the delight of Lakers fans everywhere, Walton officially took the stage in a homecoming to Los Angeles. He said all the right things -- the Lakers are his dream job, he told everyone else to bugger off when Mitch Kupchak offered him the job, he can't wait to work with the youngsters, they'll have fun at practice, they'll play up-tempo, the Lakers already have a solid base since they beat the Warriors last year -- in what was a tour de force from a rookie head coach. Truly, communications classes will teach this press conference for years to come.

But you, dear reader, want to know what he said about Kobe.

That's all that matters now that Bryant's 20-year career with the Lakers is over. And on that front, Walton was also pitch-perfect:

As for his message to potential free agents, Walton is focused on what's ahead, not the consecutive franchise-worst seasons the Lakers just went through:

Walton and Bryant were teammates with the Lakers for eight seasons (plus part of a ninth), and Los Angeles won two titles during Walton's tenure. His Kobe comments start at about the 15-minute mark in the full introductory press conference, but if you're a Lakers fan, you'll really want to give the whole thing a listen to get a sense of Walton's feel for the organization and view of things going forward. My two cents, for what they're worth: You should be very excited about your new coach.

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