JORDAN Clarkson kept mum about what the future holds for Kobe Bryant with the Los Angeles Lakers amid latest report the NBA great is set to play his final season next year.
But the Fil-Am rookie guard acknowledged the presence of the Lakers superstar was among the reasons why he was pushed to play his best as a rookie player.
“He’s good, man. He is tough and intense. You want to do good,” said Clarkson, who is currently in town for a brief visit to attend NBA-organized activities here.
LA Lakers general manager Mitch Kupchak made a stir on Friday (Saturday Manila time) when he told in a radio interview Bryant indicated to him that he will play his final season next year.
Bryant however, took to Twitter and say nothing has changed about his future.
“My thoughts on next season being my last season are the same as the last time the media asked me last season #nadanew,” Bryant wrote in his account.
Clarkson declined to comment about the talk surrounding Bryant’s future on Saturday.
But he did give credit to the five-time champion for being a positive influence to the team even after Bryant missed the rest of the season due to a shoulder injury.
“He (Bryant) makes you want to play hard. That’s how he is,” said Clarkson.
And play hard, Clarkson did with the Lakers.
The team’s second round pick in last year’s Draft averaged 11.9 points, 3.2 rebounds, and 3.5 assists in 59 games for the storied franchise in his freshman year, enough to make the NBA All-Rookie First Team.