Even though their current season isn't going well, the Los Angeles Lakers have decided to place Jeremy Lin and Jordan in backcourt. That move on Tuesday night marked the first Asian-American backcourt in NBA history.
According to Sam Laird of Mashable, the Lakers started Lin and Clarkson at the guard spots. Lin is of Taiwanese descent, and Clarkson is of mixed ancestry; he has a black father and a Filipino mother.
"Proud to make history tonight with @jclark5on," Lin wrote on Instagram. "First ever starting Asian-American backcourt in the NBA! Proud of [rookie] for that 30-piece too!"
Even though the Lakers lost by 10 points against the Oklahoma City Thunder on Tuesday night, Laird noted that both Lin and Clarkson were productive on the basketball court.
"Lin went for 19 points and seven assists, while Clarkson scored a career-high 30 points to go with seven assists of his own," Laird wrote.
According to Mike Bresnahan of the Los Angeles Times, Lakers coach Byron Scott made the decision to promote Lin back to starter status on Monday. Lin first heard of his latest status from reporters who broke the news to him.
"Oh, I didn't know," Lin said with a smile. "I'm surprised. I just want to keep trying to build on everything."
Bresnahan contended that including Lin and Clarkson in the lineup was "unusual," given that both players were starting point guards. However, veteran shooting guard Wayne Ellington would head off to the bench.
"The way we want to play is really kind of getting up and down the floor," Scott said. "If we rebound the ball, we can get the ball into one of those guys' hands, the other guy fills the lane. It makes us better offensively, as far as we don't have one guy dominating the ball."
Scott elaborated on what both Lin and Clarkson could offer to the Lakers backcourt.
"Both of these guys can make passes, both of them can beat you off the dribble, they can create shots for themselves and their teammates," Scott said.
Lin admitted to Bresnahan that the current season for the Lakers was "sometimes" difficult.
"You've got to sacrifice," Lin said. "Everybody has a different role, and it changes."
However, Scott did not witness the historic moment taking place at Oklahoma City. That's because this week, he is attending the funeral services of his mother, 72-year-old Dorothy Scott, who passed away last week after a long illness according to Bresnahan.
"It's a very difficult time for myself and my family, but I know she's in a much better place and she's not in any pain anymore. So that's one thing I have some comfort in," Scott said. "The coaching staff and the players have made it a little bit easier. But those moments when you're alone and you're at home or with your significant other, it just pops in your mind and kind of stays in your mind."
According to Bresnahan, Scott will rejoin the Lakers for Friday's game at Toronto.