Lakers' Clarkson will do anything for coach Walton, including play center
Whether it's his winning smile, trademark locks, or the fact that he's willing to play his young core substantial minutes, new Los Angeles Lakers head coach Luke Walton has become quite the popular fella behind the scenes in his first year on the job.
Jordan Clarkson, who is talented enough to be a starting guard in a majority of lineups across the league, has played himself into being an early favorite for NBA Sixth Man of the Year for Walton's second unit.
It's not an ideal role, but it's one Clarkson embraces and willingly takes on to benefit the team. Heck, if Walton wanted him to play out of position, he'd accept the challenge and take it head on simply to please his coach.
"If I had to play center, I would have did it for him," Clarkson said, according to the Orange County Register's Bill Oram.
Walton isn't a grizzled, out-of-touch sideline general who can't relate to his players, being only 36 years old - one year older than point guard Jose Calderon, and a year younger than forward Metta World Peace. Point guard D'Angelo Russell even acknowledged before the season began that he'd play as Walton in the 2K video game, and that he was definitely "a fan" of his.
Winning always cures what ails you, and while a 9-9 record won't put the Lakers near the top of the Western Conference, it's certainly a step in a more positive direction coming off a franchise-worst 17-win campaign in 2015-16.
Play Clarkson at center, let Swaggy P take all the shots he wants, or have Timofey Mozgov bring the ball up the floor. As long as the Lakers are relevant and putting wins on the board, the players will follow him to the ends of the earth.
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