The Los Angeles Lakers traded Jordan Clarkson to the Cleveland Cavaliers on Thursday morning as part of a package with forward Larry Nance Jr., ending Clarkson’s four-year career with the team.
He was tied with Julius Randle for the longest current tenure in the organization. Clarkson’s time with the Lakers coincided with the longest prolonged stretch of futility in the franchise’s history. But he was also one of the bright spots during that time, from his First-Team All-Rookie selection in 2015 serving as the highlight of that lost season.
On “Afternoons with Marcellus & Farnham” on ESPN L.A. Radio, Clarkson sounded as though he anticipated the Lakers would make a move before the deadline, though he didn’t know what to expect and is looking forward to joining the Cavaliers
“I’m real excited about my new beginning and new chapter in the league. I was asleep. I was about to wake up for shootaround when Rob and Magic called me to tell me before everything came out. You just kind of take it in stride. I kind of figured something was going to happen sooner or later here. Not knowing if it was going to be me or any of my other teammates, but I knew there was going to be something. It kind of is what it is.”
On Instagram, Clarkson sent a heartfelt message directly to the fanbase that saw him go from unexpected breakout rookie to bench-scoring stalwart over his four years with the Lakers.
To LA: Words can’t express what it meant to me to wear the Purple and Gold. As a kid from Texas, playing for the legendary Lakers was nothing short of a dream come true. For the last four years, this city has watched me grow, LA has become my home and the incredible people here have become my family. I am proud of everything I have achieved as a player, teammate and in the community and want to say thank you for all of your support during this journey. Gonna miss ju, my brother ty, brewski, kcp all my sons jbarkley, slenderman/ ting dawg , kuz, zo, tb and the rest of my dawgs. I will always have love for LA and I will continue to show support for this community, even after I leave. Thanks Lakernation To Cleveland: I can’t wait to see the city,suit up, bust my ass and give everything I have to bring another championship to The Land!
Clarkson wasn’t a perfect player, but he always worked hard and embraced Lakers fans and the pressure of playing in Los Angeles in a way not every player can. He’ll likely have more than a small portion of the fanbase still rooting for him in Cleveland as long as he’s not playing against the Lakers.
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