Clarkson compares Kobe and LeBron's leadership styles
NBA.com Global on Mar 02, 2018 07:46 AM
Cleveland Cavaliers forward LeBron James (23) celebrates with teammate Jordan Clarkson during the second half of the team's NBA basketball game against the Oklahoma City Thunder in Oklahoma City, Tuesday, Feb. 13, 2018. (AP Photo/Sue Ogrocki)
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The Los Angeles Lakers acquired Jordan Clarkson in a draft-night trade in 2014, and after a slow start, he became an impact player for the Lakers late in his rookie season. By his second season though, the storyline in Lakerland wasn't about himself and L.A.'s other youngsters, but rather the retirement of team legend Kobe Bryant.
Bryant mentioned throughout that 2015-16 season how he sought to teach Clarkson and other young players on the team "to play championship-style basketball." As many a Bryant teammate can attest, though, playing alongside the future Hall of Famer came with heavy doses of Bryant's trademark competitiveness and demanding nature.
Clarkson is now a member of the Cleveland Cavaliers and is learning under another living legend: LeBron James. In an interview with the CavsHQ podcast, he revealed how Bryant and James differ in their leadership styles. Alysha Tsuji of USAToday's For The Win transcribed some choice quotes from Clarkson on that topic:
Around the 11:06 mark, Clarkson is asked if Bryant encouraged him to shoot as much as James has. The Cavs guard said they’re similar in that they’ve both supported him.
“During my rookie year, Kob was always on me. Get in the gym early with him, getting shots and stuff like that. When we got on the court, he was not as vocal as LeBron is in terms of being with everybody and encouraging and stuff. Kob had his own way of encouraging guys. But it was something similar.”
But when Clarkson is asked what practices were like with Bryant vs. how they are with James, he said they’re definitely different.
“Two different styles of leadership. LeBron, very encouraging, bringing everybody along, and Kobe, he’s testing you, seeing what you gonna give him. If he gonna get at you, he gonna scream at you, he gonna cuss, he gonna do whatever it is. He had his own way of leading guys as well. It’s two different sides. I’m just blessed to see both of them.”