The Los Angeles Lakers and their fans have suffered through the worst three seasons in the history of the franchise over the past three seasons, and reasons for excitement were mostly few and far between.
The Kobe Bryant farewell tour had it's joyful moments, but it was an often painful to watch process as well. The younger Lakers each took turns flashing glimpses of their potential, but mostly were unable to put together strong play with any consistency.
All of these extenuating circumstances left the Lakers' legion of supporters understandably ecstatic when the team decided to hire Golden State Warriors assistant coach Luke Walton to replace Byron Scott. Fans weren't alone, with D'Angelo Russell saying he was "happy" with the hire and Julius Randle discussing all of the ways he believes Walton will help his game.
Their teammate, Lakers guard Jordan Clarkson, admitted to Michael Pina of Bleacher Report that he showed a little more emotion when he heard the news:
After two years of hopelessness and unwatchable basketball, he's excited about Luke Walton becoming Los Angeles' new head coach. Clarkson happily ran around his house, yelling, when D'Angelo Russell first broke the news with a text message, perhaps a sign of the franchise's upward trajectory.
Clarkson's reaction mirrors that of many Lakers fans that night, which is even more notable because of how he describes himself later in the feature (emphasis mine):
When asked what went through his mind as he watched the NBA lottery—a franchise-altering night for the Lakers, who wound up landing the second overall pick—he said, "Uh, nothing really. I guess I was excited for the organization; I think it's good for us." Then a short pause and self-conscious laugh. "I'm kind of dry, so, I don't really have too many emotions."
Well, there you have it. Luke Walton's hiring is enough to get even the emotionless excited.
Clarkson was happy enough about Walton's hire that he even said he'd be willing to come off of the bench next season if that's what his new coach wanted, and while that may not be necessary, the Lakers' young core so publicly buying into their new head coach is good news for the team.
Pina's whole feature on Clarkson is worth a read, and you can do so here.
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