The Los Angeles Lakers officially introduced Jordan Clarkson on Monday as the newest member of the Lakers family. The Lakers acquired the former Mizzou and Tulsa guard via the Washington Wizards for cash considerations on draft night.
The 46th pick in the 2014 NBA draft said he was surprised to go in the second round, considering himself one of the best, if not the best point guard in the draft. Check out our transcription of Clarkson’s introduction as a Laker. For our exclusive interview with Clarkson, scroll below.
On the NBA draft being over/falling to the second round and winding up in Los Angeles:
“It’s just a relaxing feeling. I’m going to work hard. I got a a chip on my shoulder from the draft and stuff. I’m just going to come in here and work. I feel like I was one of the better point guards in the draft, maybe the best. Falling out of the first round and being selected in the second round. The number really doesn’t matter where you get drafted, it’s about the fit, so that’s where I get my chip from though.”
On making the teams that passed on him in the draft pay:
“Yes sir. I’m just going to come in here work hard and try to be the best player that I can be. It’s just fuel to my fire. It’s just going to help me continue to grind.”
On wearing the purple and gold:
“It’s a blessing being a part of one of the most established franchises in the league if not the most. It’s a blessing. I couldn’t tell you how I’m feeling right now. It’s just exciting though.
On being a Filipino-American in the NBA:
“It’s a great feeling, I’ve got the country behind me. It feels great. That’s also driving me too, just being one of the first. I’m just trying to make a mark here and find a significant role.”
On being a point guard/combo guard:
“I’m a point guard, but I can also play the two because of my size and my ability to score. I’m very versatile on the floor.”
On whether or not the Lakers coaching vacancy is an issue:
“No, sir. They are going to handle the situation. All you can is control what’s on the court.”
On what he’s heard about Kobe Bryant:
“That’s pretty exciting. I heard a lot about Kobe and how he is but he’s a winner. Being able to watch him and learn from him will be a great opportunity. I just heard he’s really intense. But he’s a winner. He’s proven that. So you just gotta follow in his footsteps.”
VIDEO: One-On-One Interview With Jordan Clarkson