Newest Laker Clarkson draws motivation from multiple sources
JUL 07, 2014 4:00p ET
The former SEC foes are now teammates with the Lakers after the team acquired Clarkson from the Washington Wizards who selected him with the 46th pick of the 2014 NBA Draft.
Clarkson, last season playing for Missouri, dropped 28 points -- his second highest point total on the season -- against Randle's young but talented Kentucky squad.
"He's good," Randle said of his new teammate. "He had a big game against us and really caught our eye. I, kind of, already knew what kind of player he was coming in here so he's really good."
When the Lakers open up summer league play on Friday against the Toronto Raptors in Las Vegas, it's unclear if Randle will be in the lineup. The Lakers first rounder isn't expected to play until he signs his contract with the team.
Clarkson, a guard and second-round pick, on the other hand, is expected to be in the lineup and he'll be carrying a lot onto the floor with him.
After electing to forego his senior year the Missouri junior heard he could be picked as high as 16th overall, just outside of the lottery but more likely in the 20-30 range.
The draft for him, didn't go according to plan.
"I got a chip on my shoulder from the draft and stuff and I'm just going to come out here and work," Clarkson said. "I feel like I was one of the better point guards in the draft, maybe the best.
"It's just fuel to my fire and going to help me continue to grind."
He's also playing for a country -- the Philippines. Clarkson is the first Filipino-American to be selected in the NBA Draft since 1979.
Clarkson was born in the United States but his mother is a native of the Philippines.
"It's a great feeling knowing I got the country behind me," he said. "It feels great. That's also driving me, too -- being one of the first. I'm just trying to make a mark here and find a significant role."
At 6-foot-5, he has terrific size for a point guard but also showed a knack for scoring the ball at the collegiate level as shown by his performance against Randle's 'Cats.
Last season, Clarkson averaged 17.5 points, 3.4 assists and shot 44.8 percent from the field for Missouri.