His second career start just awaited him. But Lakers guard Jordan Clarkson soon found out coach Byron Scott still views him low on the totem pole.
Scott offered Clarkson and Lakers backup center Tarik Black some rookie hazing, forcing the two players to push toy babies in strollers through the rest of the 2014-15 season.
“They’re in charge of bringing them to every home game, making sure they’re right by their locker and that the baby’s not crying,” Scott said. “They’ve got to watch their baby, can’t lose the baby, and then on game days on the road, they have to wear their pink backpacks.”
Scott meant to push this rule at the beginning of the season. But Scott said he “forgot” as the Lakers went through adversarial episodes that contributed to the team’s worst start in franchise history, including season-ending injuries to Julius Randle, Steve Nash and Xavier Henry as well as an eventual shoulder injury to Kobe Bryant. It turns out Clarkson found out he hadn’t quite arrived for reasons beyond posting eight points on only 2-of-10 shooting, two assists and five turnovers in the Lakers’ 99-87 loss to the Houston Rockets on Sunday at Staples Center
“I was kind of shocked. But You got to do it, man. Rookie duties,” said Clarkson, whom the Lakers paid $1.8 million to Washington to secure him as the 46th overall pick in the 2014 NBA Draft. “It just comes along with the territory”
That explains why Scott passed the rule down to Lakers backup center Tarik Black. When Randle returns next season from a fractured right leg, he will also have to take care of a toy baby and push its stroller. But rookie hazing apparently didn’t apply to Scott his rookie year in the 1983-84 season with the Lakers.
“I didn’t have to do that,” Scott said. “These guys were nice to me. I just had to carry a few balls every now and then.”
Clarkson carried his baby named “Re Re” (Rihanna’s nickname) in the locker room afterwards, noting “we get a fine if we forget it”