The best thing to come out of the 2014-15 NBA season for the Los Angeles Lakers was a potential star in the making in Jordan Clarkson. The Missouri product surprised everyone with his solid play and impressed the coaching staff to the point of securing a starting role.
Despite all the recognition he’s received and earning NBA All-Rookie First Team honors, Clarkson is as hungry as ever. The 23-year-old is determined to take his game to the next level and claims to still have a chip on his shoulder while doing all he can to improve, via Mark Medina of the Los Angeles Daily News:
“My mindset hasn’t changed. I still have the same chip,” Clarkson said. “I’m still a work in progress.”
Clarkson seems to have the right attitude heading into his sophomore season with the Lakers. The second-year guard will have his work cut out for him to secure as many minutes as possible with the return of Kobe Bryant and additions of rookie D’Angelo Russell and free agent Lou Williams.
Head coach Byron Scott has admitted the team may play Russell, Clarkson and Bryant all at the same time. Kobe would shift to the small forward position while Clarkson continues to be a starter in the backcourt, but nothing has been promised to the up-and-coming guard as of yet.
So far, Clarkson has made enough of an impression to merit considerable playing time next season. The Lakers coaching staff was impressed with his play last season and the work ethic he’s shown to improve.
In 59 games last season, Clarkson averaged 11.9 points, 3.5 assists and 3.2 rebounds per game. Those numbers increased considerably as a starter with Clarkson putting up 15.8 points, 5.0 assists and 4.5 rebounds per contest in 38 starts for the Lakers.