Jordan Clarkson offers advice to Kobe Paras
MANILA, Philippines - Speaking with reporters in Manila, Filipino-American Los Angeles Lakers guard Jordan Clarkson offered some advice for 6-foot-6, UCLA bound Kobe Paras, saying that the Cathedral High School star should keep working hard and compete as much as he can for an opportunity to make it to the NBA.
Clarkson, who was named to the All-NBA Rookie First Team this past season, also says that Paras will have the right avenue as a Bruin under the tutelage of Head Coach Steve Alford to become a lottery pick in the NBA Draft once he decides to turn pro.
“Just keep working. Put your time in and just go hard on the court and that’s all you can do, compete, every time you get on the floor. You know, he’ll fall in the right places," Clarkson told reporters during a media session at the NBA Store on Saturday, May 23.
Clarkson, who’s currently in Manila for NBA Cares with Jazz point guard Trey Burke and 4-time NBA Champion Horace Grant, draws his Filipino roots from the side of his mother Annette and her family in Pampanga.
The 6-foot-5 Lakers guard is the lone notable player in the NBA with at least half Filipino blood, but that could change if Paras - known for his superb athleticism - continues to improve and shines once he suits up in the NCAA come 2016.
“I haven’t seen that much of him, but, you know, if he goes to UCLA and does what he’s supposed to, he’s on the right stage to do that (become a lottery pick),” said Clarkson, who had 10 20-point games in his rookie season and one where he scored 30 against Oklahoma City.
When asked what he thinks about being a big role model for Filipinos so early into his career, Clarkson said it’s what motivates him to improve even more.
“I think it’s pretty cool, that’s what drives me everyday. I gotta work hard and continue to do good things so I can continue to be that person they look up to,” said Clarkson, who averaged 11.9 points, 3.5 assists, and 3.2 rebounds a game last season. “I’m going to try my hardest.”
Clarkson, who was picked 46th overall in the 2014 NBA Draft, credits his drive for improvement to the underdog chip on his shoulder - something he advises Filipinos to use as fuel to become better.
“Yeah, you know I’ve always had that, just growing up,” Clarkson said about the topic. “I wasn’t always this tall and I didn’t go to a big college at first. I transferred to Missouri, so I had to make a name for myself there.”
Clarkson played 58 games with the Tulsa Golden Hurricanes before sitting out a season and playing for Missouri in 2013.
“And when I got drafted in the second round, it just kept adding fuel to my fire and you know, there’s still stuff adding on and that chip ain’t ever going to leave.”
“Any time, for me, it’s kinda just shutting people up,” he said about being an underdog. “Silence is a calmer for me, so, that’s the best thing to do.” - Rappler.com