The Los Angeles Lakers held their first training camp practice Tuesday at the brand new UCLA Health training center, marking the beginning of the 2017-18 season.
For the Lakers, expectations are a lot higher this season than in the past few as head coach Luke Walton is going into his second season with the team and he has a much-improved roster to work with.
Two of the longest-tenured Lakers players that have suffered through a lot of losing the past couple seasons are Jordan Clarkson and Larry Nance Jr.
Both players were late draft picks that ended up being gems for the Lakers and figure to play a big part in the team’s success this season. The duo worked extremely hard this summer to get ready for the upcoming season and look to be in the best shape they’ve been in since coming into the league.
Nance earned some bragging rights over Clarkson at the team’s first practice, as the Lakers posted a video of Nance barely edging out Clarkson in a footrace:
Who you got in a race, @Larrydn22 or @JordanClarksons? ???? pic.twitter.com/7inULjmajF
— Los Angeles Lakers (@Lakers) September 27, 2017
The race was the final of a series of races to determine the fastest player on the team, and according to Mike Bresnahan of Spectrum SportsNet, Clarkson was not too thrilled about the loss:
Clarkson not thrilled about losing to Nance Jr. in series of races to determine Lakers' fastest player. He swore it wouldn't happen again.
— Mike Bresnahan (@Mike_Bresnahan) September 27, 2017
One thing that the front office emphasized at the end of last season was every player getting into world-class shape this past offseason, so it is nice to see that the players took that seriously and came into camp ready to go.
Nance and Clarkson will both likely be coming off the bench to start this season, but will still play big roles and could be playing starter’s minutes so being in shape is essential.