With Kobe Bryant now officially retired after 20 long and enduring seasons, the Los Angeles Lakers are heading into a new chapter of their franchise as they continue their current rebuilding process. With a nucleus starting with Jordan Clarkson, Julius Randle, D’Angelo Russell, and Brandon Ingram, the Lakers are certainly headed in the right direction.
One area where Kobe’s absence may be felt most is his role as a leader. No one is quite sure who will step up in that area. Head coach Luke Walton singled out Russell for his leadership during Summer League, but Clarkson plans on stepping up in that area as well.
In a recent interview with HypeBeast.com’s Christopher Cason, Clarkson was asked if he’ll pursue the leadership role now with Kobe out of the league:
“Yeah, I’ve been in the league for two years now. My story is different than a lot of rookies and the guys that we have on our team. I’m definitely going to share my advice as much as I can to help these young guys succeed. At the same time try to set an example like Kobe did with his great work ethic.”
With two seasons under his belt now, the Lakers can definitely benefit from Clarkson’s aspiring leadership role, as the former 46th pick of the 2014 NBA Draft has certainly used his ‘underdog’ mentality to his advantage, finishing as the Lakers’ second-highest scorer last season after being selected to the NBA’s All-Rookie First Team in his rookie campaign.
What’s great about Clarkson is that, like Kobe, the Missouri product is trying to set a great example with his work ethic, which is something we saw the Black Mamba do throughout his illustrious 20-year career.
Clarkson’s already been leading by example this offseason, constantly being showcased on social media throughout his immense training sessions that he’s had all summer. Just this past week he couldn’t miss from three-point land while training with Pure Sweat trainer Drew Hanlen, so if this style of ‘work ethic’ is an example of what the Lakers can expect from him in his new leadership role, the team is certainly sailing in the right direction with a new captain on board.