Steve Nash and current Los Angeles Lakers point guard Jordan Clarkson have developed a mentor-protege relationship over the past year, with Clarkson even working out with the two-time league MVP over All-Star weekend.
"He’s a great person, first of all, and I think he’s a really talented basketball player and incredibly coachable and works hard," Nash recently said about Clarkson, according to Laker Nation's Serena Winters. "I think the sky’s the limit for him.”
Clarkson was given the keys to run L.A.'s offense during the final 38 games of the 2014-15 season, finishing his inaugural campaign averaging 11.9 points, 3.5 assists, and 3.1 rebounds on 44.8 percent shooting.
Nash, who spent his last two seasons as a Laker, formally announced his retirement from the NBA in March. Before officially putting an end to his 18-year career, Nash was able to work one-on-one with the upstart Clarkson on multiple occasions, teaching him spacing and how to see the floor better.
It was during those private sessions when the Canadian basketball legend learned about the kind of player and man the 23-year-old is.
"I think he’s very humble and hard working, but he has confidence," Nash said. "He has that security in himself to say, ‘OK, I don’t know everything, I’m going to learn where I can, and try to get better and use every tool.’ He has a lot of wisdom for a young player.”
Clarkson, who earned a spot on the NBA All-Rookie first team, will likely compete with No. 2 overall draft pick D'Angelo Russell for the team's starting point guard role. If general manager Mitch Kupchak is serious about having a returning Kobe Bryant play more minutes at small forward, Clarkson and Russell could even start alongside each other in the backcourt.