Jordan Clarkson returns to the Lakers’ starting lineup with a heavy heart

Lakers guard Jordan Clarkson drives against Sacramento's Ben McLemore during a game in Las Vegas on Thursday.
(Ethan Miller / Getty Images)

Basketball became a way for Jordan Clarkson to escape on Saturday.

One of his best friends, Cameron Moore, died last week, and Clarkson attended his funeral on Friday.

“It’s been a tough 48 hours for me,” Clarkson said. “But I try to … use the court as a getaway right now.”

Moore and Clarkson both grew up in San Antonio. They stayed close over the years and Moore even lived with Clarkson this summer.


“He always looked out for me when I was younger,” Clarkson said. “Him and his older brother. … It’s been tough on me.”

Moore, who played basketball at Alabama Birmingham, was beginning a contract with Macedonian basketball team AV Ohrid. He died suddenly during their first practice.

After the funeral, for which he missed Friday’s practice, Clarkson returned to Las Vegas in time for the Lakers second of two preseason games at T-Mobile Arena. He entered the Lakers starting lineup for the first time during this year’s exhibition slate and had 15 points, an assist and two turnovers.

“For someone his age to have to deal with all that and still be here and play games, all that’s gotta be pretty heavy and hard to do,” Lakers Coach Luke Walton said. “He’s kept a good attitude and continued to work hard throughout the whole thing.”

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