The Los Angeles Lakers won nine more games than last season, but the team was still holding exit interviews in April. That lack of a postseason appearance left Lakers guard Jordan Clarkson unwilling to give the team too much praise following his exit interview with head coach Luke Walton and the team’s front office.
“I wouldn’t say it was a successful year for us, but we grew for sure,” Clarkson said, adding that the team has loftier goals to aim for during their next campaign.
“I’m not saying we’ll make the playoffs next year or anything, but we want to compete for sure,” Clarkson said. “We don't want to be sitting here in April next year."
To get there, Clarkson said the Lakers young core is “ready to work,” even if rumors swirl that some of them won’t be with the team next season.
“We all think we’re going to be here, so we’re going to work with each other until then,” Clarkson said before sharing that he planned to watch the NBA Draft. “That’s kind of out of our control.”
Still, Clarkson did say he felt relatively secure with new Lakers General Manager Rob Pelinka and Team President Magic Johnson.
“They want to hear our ideas. What we’ve got on our mind. It feels comfortable,” Clarkson said. He also had a lot of love for Walton after their first season together.
"I feel like he is the definition of a player's coach,” Clarkson said.
All stats per NBA.com. and Basketball-Reference.com. All quotes transcribed via Periscope. Harrison Faigen is co-host of the Locked on Lakers podcast (subscribe here, or listen to our thoughts on the season below), and you can follow him on Twitter at @hmfaigen.