This is well deserved. And also kind of surprising.
On Friday, the NBA announced that Los Angeles Lakers second-round pick, Jordan Clarkson, had been named the Western Conference Rookie of the Month for March.
In doing so, Clarkson became the first ever Laker to win the award, according to Lakers.com.
The award was only introduced in the 1981-82 season, though it’s still kind of surprising that the Missouri product was the first member of the purple and gold to win it.
Clarkson definitely deserves the honor, though, as he averaged a team-high 15.8 points per game in March while shooting 45.2 percent from the field. The 46th overall pick also added 5.2 assists, 4.8 rebounds and 0.8 steals in 32.4 minutes per game.
The 22-year-old’s two biggest performances of the month came against the Oklahoma City Thunder, where he scored a career-high 30 points – a game in which he also added 7 assists, 4 rebounds and 3 blocks – and in Philadelphia where he recorded 26 points, 11 assists, 6 rebounds and 3 steals.
Clarkson also scored the game-winner in Philly to beat the Sixers in overtime.
Clarkson became the first Western Conference rookie other than Andrew Wiggins to win the award. Wiggins, the first overall pick in last June’s draft, has been the recipient of the award for every month so far this season – until now, that is.
Meanwhile, Nikola Mirotic was named Rookie of the Month for the Eastern Conference, marking the second time he has won the hardware this season.
This award is proof that Clarkson’s emergence is starting to get noticed, and it looks as if he’s now in with a real shot of being named to the All-Rookie first team at the end of the season.