Lakers fans have been eagerly awaiting the preseason to see how their new head coach Luke Walton performs. If their game against the Sacramento Kings proved one thing, it’s that Walton is still working out what kind of starting line up he wants to field.
Many were surprised to see Walton leave Jordan Clarkson on the bench in favor of Lou Williams. Clarkson had a career year last season, averaging over 15 points a game. His performance landed him a $50 million contract extension. But Clarkson’s comments to Lakers.com indicate that he wasn’t upset starting on the bench.
“It doesn’t matter to me. As long as I’m on the court, playing minutes, I’m going to impact the game someway — if that’s defensively or offensively. I’m always going to be aggressive on both ends of the floor. That’s where I’m going to make my mark.”
Quotes like this indicate the mature mentality the young Clarkson possesses. He isn’t one for stats or personal records; his mind is always on getting a win for the team. The comments echo a statement he made back in June, before he signed his extension.
“I would do anything for my team. If coming off the bench was something that was good for the team and we’re winning games then I’m always down with that. I’m not worried about who starts or any of that as long as I’m impacting the game.”
That exact attitude is why it’s likely that Clarkson will ultimately win the starting job. He’s taller and he’s a much better on the ball defender than Lou, and his attitude is exactly the kind a young coach looking to make a name for himself will love to lean on.