As impressive as NBA basketball players can be, it’s easy to forget that they all started as kids looking up to sports heroes just like so many of us. They grew up idolizing the game, and they all have fond memories of different players that they looked to as role models, including many former Lakers.
The Lakers have made use of Periscope to host a chat called Lakers Voices, which features Lakers reporter Mike Trudell having a conversation with one of the players. This month, Trudell sat down with guard Jordan Clarkson, who talked about a number of things, including his favorite players growing up:
— Los Angeles Lakers (@Lakers) January 9, 2017
Clarkson, who was born in 1992, said that one of his favorite Lakers growing up was Shaquille O’Neal. This isn’t surprising, as some of Clarkson’s earliest memories of watching basketball would be of O’Neal’s dominant prime years spent in Los Angeles, which included three championships in the early 2000s. O’Neal was inducted into the Basketball Hall of Fame back in September and is certainly worthy of admiration.
However, O’Neal is a 7’1″ mountain of a man who used his overpowering strength to dominate opponents in the post. This is the polar opposite of Clarkson, a speedy guard who relies on perimeter scoring and slashing to the rim to make an impact. That being the case, it makes sense that he would also look up to guards, and he named current teammate Lou Williams as one of his favorites.
Williams began his NBA career in 2005 when Clarkson was just 13. Williams entered the NBA out of high school, being selected by the Philadelphia 76ers with the 45th pick and then earned a spot in the rotation after years of hard work. Clarkson himself was selected 46th overall in the 2014 draft, and now shares the backcourt with Williams in the Lakers’ second unit. The two have shown chemistry playing alongside each other, and Clarkson listing Williams as one of his favorites is another sign of their camaraderie.