LOS ANGELES--The Los Angeles Lakers welcomed their former employee to the Staples Center on Sunday night. The newly acquired Cleveland Cavaliers guard Jordan Clarkson, received nothing but roaring cheers from Lakers fans.
Though, Clarkson got what he probably expected from the crowd, he didn’t leave with what he hoped for- a victorious night. The Lakers gave Clarkson and his entourage a violent physical beating- routing the Cavs 127-113.
Clarkson struggled terribly in the deficit, shooting 1-of-8 for four points in his worst game as Cavalier.
Despite losing one of the most anticipated games on the Cavs schedule, Clarkson didn’t appear to hold any animosity towards the city. As a matter of fact, he appeared to be in good spirits after the game when asked how he felt about the crowd showing their appreciation for his services during his tenure with the Lakers.
“It was a good feeling coming back, Clarkson said. Everyone showed support-it was cool.
In 2014, Clarkson got his first shot in the NBA. He was drafted 46th overall by the Washington Wizards before being traded to Los Angeles on the same night he got his first job in the NBA.
Clarkson went on to spend three seasons with the Lakers. Until he was dealt to the Cleveland Cavaliers in an unexpected transaction between Los Angeles and Cleveland.
He lived up to the hype in Los Angeles after making his presence known in Purple and Gold. His role with the Lakers fluctuated every season- and at one point was a player the Lakers could possibly build around. But things just didn’t work out in Los Angeles as the Lakers were still soul searching trying to find an identity. He played now has an opportunity to take on a bigger role playing with the best player in the league- LeBron James.
When Cleveland traded for Clarkson, he was averaging 15 points per game on 45 percent shooting and three assists. Clarkson isn’t a true point guard, but he is a legit scorer- and King James could sure use some assistance in that facet of the game.
Clarkson shared his thoughts on what is has been like to play with the king in just 13 games.
“It’s been awesome, Clarkson said. He creates shots for us, unselfish superstar. I’ve played with LeBron and Kobe and a lot can’t say that but that’s something I am always going to be able to hold on to.”
The Cavs needed defensive help and Clarkson should be an asset in that area. He’s no longer employed by a team who is in the process of rebuilding.
In fact, Clarkson is playing for a team who has made three consecutive trips to the NBA Finals. Therefore, whether he’s coming off the bench or implemented into the starting lineup full-time- he has higher expectations and a chance for promotion in the land.
Clarkson did not live up to those expectations against his ex-teammates. He struggled terribly, shooting 1-of-8 for four points in his worst game as Cavalier.
Meanwhile, the Cavs are 7-5 since the trade and own the No. 4 spot in the Eastern Conference trailing behind the Toronto Raptors, Boston Celtics and Indiana Pacers.
However, there is still an enormous amount of time left for the Cavs to figure this thing out and when they do, they will easily become a favorite to win the east. Clarkson’s game is adequate but he has a long way to go and continues to seek for ways to evolve in an offense that revolves around one player.