Thursday's Lakers News: Clarkson accepts challenge from Walton to become better defender

In fostering the Los Angeles Lakers' identity, Luke Walton avoids references to the Warriors: While Luke Walton’s pedigree includes being part of the Golden State Warriors’ incredible success during the past two seasons, he doesn’t like for those memories to crowd his coaching. When he addresses this Lakers team, he doesn’t tell many stories about the Warriors. “I don’t like doing that,” Walton said Wednesday after the Lakers practiced in Santa Barbara. “This is our team. This is who we are.” There are times when a nod to the Warriors can prove useful, however. -- Los Angeles Times

Jordan Clarkson embraces Luke Walton's challenge to become a good defender: The moment could have called for Jordan Clarkson to go on a shopping spree. Or he could have enjoyed a late night in Los Angeles. Or he could have felt validated, going from second-round pick to key part of the Lakers’ young core in just two years. Yet, Clarkson maintained he did not harbor any of those thoughts when he and the Lakers agreed to a four-year, $50 million contract on the first night of free agency in early July. Instead, Clarkson soon went to sleep to squeeze in a few hours of rest. -- The Orange County Register