JORDAN Clarkson is alright being the Los Angeles Lakers’ sixth man.
“I’m comfortable with the role I’m in. I’m getting starter minutes, so it’s a good process for me,” the 24-year old Filipino-American guard told the LA Times.
“It’s a little different but … to me it’s just, I’m helping another unit. Just helping the team, to be honest with you,” said Clarkson whose role as a reserve comes after making his mark as second-leading scorer behind a retiring Kobe Bryant and signing a four-year $50 million dollar contract in the offseason.
Clarkson led the Lakers’ to a successful season opener against the visiting Houston Rockets. The Lakers take on the Jazz on Friday in Utah (Saturday, Manila time).
Plagued by two fouls in the first half where he only scored two points, the 6-5 swingman waxed hot in the second, leading the Lakers with 25 points and coming up with several defensive stops, with three steals.
“He’s been absolutely great,” said new Lakers coach Luke Walton. “I’ve talked to him about starting or coming off the bench; he’s been good with both. It’s nice to have guys like that on your team.”
Walton has been experimenting with the substitution patterns, but Clarkson, who started all 79 games last season, has been doing well off the bench.
“Teammates kept going to me, Coach was calling plays for me. I just kept continuing to score,” Clarkson said.
Teammate D’Angelo Russell described Clarkson’s efforts as “amazing” and praised him for accepting his new role.
“Probably the biggest thing I can do is try to help us get wins,” Clarkson said.