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Robbie Keane is already looking towards September’s crucial World Cup qualifiers as he targets a trip to another major tournament. “All we have to do now is just concentrate on ourselves and not worry too much about Austria or Sweden. “These games give you confidence. It’s always good coming into the next qualifier when you have just come off a good win and after getting three points. “We will certainly look forward to those two games. They are two games that we have to win to stay in contention. “We have got a good chance, there’s no question. We have got Sweden at home and Austria away, and we are quite capable of going to Austria and getting three points.” Friday night’s win extended Ireland’s impressive end-of-season form after a draw in England and last Sunday’s demolition of Georgia. They have now played eight times since they were humbled 6-1 by the Germans on their own pitch in October last year and lost only once, and that is a source of some encouragement for their captain. Keane said: “I don’t think anyone had any doubt about it, to be totally honest with you. People forget, we played against probably one of the top three teams in the world in Germany. “The manner in which we were beaten, it wasn’t good because of the way we set ourselves out and the pride we have, and it wasn’t good enough. But the good thing about football is there’s always another game and it’s about bouncing back and not being a baby sitting in a corner and crying about it.” Press Association The 32-year-old Ireland skipper helped to maintain his country’s bid for a ticket to Brazil next summer with a hat-trick in Friday night’s Group C victory over the Faroe Islands at the Aviva Stadium. That, coupled with Austria’s win over Sweden, left the pair locked together on 11 points behind leaders Germany. It has always looked like a three-way battle for second place, and that means Sweden’s trip to Dublin in September and Ireland’s visit to Austria four days later are likely to have a decisive say in the outcome, and Keane said: “We know what we have to do: we have to play those two in September, so those two games are very, very crucial and will probably make or break us.
Rodgers revealed wants to bring in competition for Jose Enrique as he seeks to bolster an area he had difficulties with last season. With Enrique out of favour 12 months ago Rodgers began the campaign by switching Glen Johnson to the opposite flank and blooding youngster Andre Wisdom, although the Spaniard eventually regained his place and enjoyed a good second half of the season. “There are obviously certain areas of the squad where we’re a bit thinner than others,” he said. “We probably need a bit more support – that extra bit of quality – at the top end of the field and that’s something we’ll look out for. “That’ll be mixed with needing cover in the left-back position – that’s something we’re looking at. “It’s not really about numbers, it’s about quality. “If we can do that over the next number of weeks we’ll be happy.” Press Association Liverpool manager Brendan Rodgers has identified left-back as an area he wants to strengthen amid speculation he is set to secure a deal for Valencia’s Aly Cissokho. Reports in Spain suggest an agreement is close to sign the 25-year-old on a season-long loan with a view to making the move permanent next summer. Liverpool are currently preparing for the middle game of their pre-season tour to Asia and Australia as they face Melbourne Victory on Wednesday.
Captain O’Connell revealed the analysis session following Saturday’s 16-10 home defeat to Wales laid bare the size of Ireland’s challenge in chasing their best-ever World Cup campaign this month. Ireland’s veteran lock conceded “you wonder almost why you’re playing any more” when coming to terms with Test match defeats and attempting to reverse fortunes. Paul O’Connell has admitted Ireland are a “long, long way away” from winning the Rugby World Cup after last week’s defeat to Wales in Dublin. Ireland face England at Twickenham on Saturday before opening their Pool D campaign in the World Cup by taking on Canada in Cardiff on September 19. “I’d love to win a World Cup but it’s a long, long way away now,” said O’Connell. “And I’ll tell you, the Monday morning after the Wales game, when we reviewed it, it felt a long, long way away as well. “For me I don’t think there’s any value in me or us getting distracted by that. “I think the week after you lose you wonder almost why you’re playing any more, and Monday was tough. “After the Scotland game I thought we were going to put a whole lot of things right, unfortunately we didn’t and you just find out a lot about how far you have to go. “So we need to get those things right this weekend and start building now, so winning the World Cup, it would be great but it’s very much not at the forefront of my mind.” Ireland sit second in the world rankings thanks to two consecutive RBS 6 Nations titles, and hopes are high head coach Joe Schmidt’s men can reach the semi-finals for the first time. Wales coach Warren Gatland was at his mischievous best in midweek, claiming neither England nor Ireland can afford to arrive at the World Cup off the back of two straight Test defeats. One of Saturday’s sides are almost certain to do exactly that, after England lost 25-20 in Paris and Ireland slipped up to Wales. Former Ireland coach Gatland’s cute comments were not lost on O’Connell – but the skipper refused to be drawn into the war of words. “I didn’t hear what he said but he’s entitled to his opinion,” said O’Connell when quizzed on Gatland’s comments. “You’d love to go into the World Cup having won, but if you don’t win, you just deal with it and get on with it. “From our point of view, it’s about putting together certain things that help us play well. “We recognise those when we lose and we recognise those when we haven’t done them when we win as well. “I think even in that Scotland game, there would have been a whole lot of things we would have loved to have done better as well even though we came out the right side of the result. “So that’s the big emphasis for us as always. There’s always a few things we need to do really well that leads to a big performance and we’ll be eager to do those this weekend. Hopefully that leads to a big performance and also a result.” England struggled in the set-piece exchanges in defeat to France in Paris, but O’Connell has warned Ireland the hosts will not falter this weekend. “I don’t think there are weaknesses: I think every team has days like that no matter how good you are,” said O’Connell. “It’s rare, if ever, you’ve seen that happen to an English team in the last few years under Lancaster, so we’ve no doubt how pumped up they will be for the physical aspect of the game given what happened in Paris.” Press Association
LONDON: Arsenal midfielder Mesut Ozil has said he will stay with the club “through to the last day” of his contract in June 2021. “Things have been difficult but I love Arsenal,” Ozil told the Athletic. “I’ll decide when I go, not other people.” “I’ll give everything I have for this club,” he added. “Situations like these will never break me, they only make me stronger. I showed in the past that I can come back into the team and I will show it again.” Also Read – Meghalayan mid-fielder Phrangki Buam joins ISL side FC Goa The German midfielder has not played since the Premier League resumed in June. Meanwhile, Arsenal had earlier announced that they are looking to cut off 55 jobs as a result of the financial impact of the COVID-19 pandemic. In a joint statement put out by the club’s Head of Football Raul Sanllehi and Managing Director Vinai Venkatesham, Arsenal said that their “main sources of income have all reduced significantly”. Also Read – COVID-19: Football team observes ‘social distancing’ during match, loses 37-0″Revenue from broadcasters, match-day and commercial activities have all been hit severely and these impacts will continue into at least the forthcoming 2020/21 season,” the statement read. “Over recent years we have consistently invested in additional staff to take the club forward but with the expected reduction of income in mind, it is now clear that we must reduce our costs further to ensure we are operating in a sustainable and responsible way, and to enable us to continue to invest in the team.” IANSAlso Watch: Assam Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma Condemns Attack in Zubeen Garg
Lionel Messi scored twice in the second half, including a chipped free-kick, as leaders Barcelona beat Espanyol to go 13 points clear at the top of La Liga.Messi dinked his first goal from the edge of the box, with Espanyol defender Victor Sanchez failing to head clear as he ran back towards the goal-line. The Argentine finished off a counter-attack late on to take his tally to 31 goals for the season.Messi has scored 22 goals in his last 15 La Liga games, while he has also surpassed 40 goals in a season for the 10th successive time. He had been an injury doubt for the game after missing Argentina’s friendly with Morocco in mid-week, but showed no ill-effects when he had Barca’s first chance of the game, only to see his shot deflected over the crossbar.Barca – who face Manchester United in the Champions League quarter-finals – dominated the first half, with Ivan Rakitic and Luis Suarez both going close to breaking the deadlock, and it wasn’t until the second half that goalkeeper Marc-Andre ter Stegen was first troubled, by Oscar Melendo.Messi’s opener saw Sanchez substituted by Espanyol soon after, before he sealed all three points by slotting home a Malcom cross.Share this:FacebookRedditTwitterPrintPinterestEmailWhatsAppSkypeLinkedInTumblrPocketTelegram
Last year, USC’s El Centro Chicano celebrated its 40th anniversary. The organization, housed in the Student Union, aims to provide “personal, social and academic support through graduation and beyond,” according to its mission statement. But El Centro is only one of more than 20 organizations on campus that caters to the Latino student community, a community that keeps growing every year.Hispanic/Latino students make up 14 percent of the USC undergraduate student population. Though this number is considerably higher than many other private research universities such as Duke University, whose Latino population is 6 percent of its total student body, students still feel the pressure of being a minority group at USC.“Many [students] inform me that they do not see an overwhelming presence of Latino students at USC, walking around campus and in their classrooms,” Vela said in an email. “That is why they come to USC El Centro Chicano, to make those connections and find a supportive and familiar community where they receive cultural as well as academic support via various resources, services and programs we provide.”These services include referrals for academic advising, counseling, career help, as well as a speaker series and local field trips.El Centro has become a home away from home for many Latino students searching for a way to acclimate to college life. As a spring admit, Hernandez joined El Centro during her first semester in search of a community that better reflected the one she grew up in.“It was a shock when I came to ’SC because I’ve never seen so many Caucasian students,” Hernandez said. “I felt so out of place, I needed to find a little place, a little niche. When I started working at El Centro, I made friends a lot faster.”Groups such as El Centro have often been subjected to accusations of self-segregation, since they are aimed toward a specific ethnicity.“I actually had a student in one of my classes who was in a Latino frat and he said that the Latino Greeks often close themselves out to others,” Vidal said.But supporters argue that cultural groups are imperative to help students feel comfortable and help adjust to an incredibly diverse university. As a member of Lambda Theta Nu, a Latina greek sorority, Hernandez has been accused of closing herself off to the wider community.“People ask me, ‘Why are you in a Latina sorority, isn’t that kind of segregating yourself?’ To me, it’s a sense of empowerment, because I feel more comfortable with people who understand my cultures and traditions,” Hernandez said. “I just wanted to find people who were more like me.”In 1974, the university created the Latino Floor residential program, which allows freshmen students to live on a floor centered around Latino culture that provides a supportive atmosphere for Latinos through community service initiatives, cultural, academic and social activities as well as just being a home away from home.“It’s still a reality and feeling of being underrepresented and not the majority,” Vela said in an email. “So when at the end of the day, they come home to something familiar, it’s reassuring and conveys to them that they are part of the USC community, they belong and therefore they engage, become involved and ultimately find their grounding at USC so they can be successful as they approach their sophomore year.”The floor, however, is not limited to only Latino students.“Some have grown up around our community and want to continue that experience, others have not at all and want that experience,” Vela said in an email. “Some want to have a community where they can continue to practice speaking Spanish.”Hernandez said she finds the claims of self-segregation to be unfounded.“Caucasians hang out with Caucasians all the time and no one tells them that they’re segregating themselves,” Hernandez said. “So why can’t I hang out with my Latina friends also?”The importance of education The United States’ growing Latino population is on track to set a record in the rate of Latino college enrollment. According to the Pew Research Center, 69 percent of Latino high school graduates enrolled in college in 2012 — two points higher than the Caucasian population.In 2000, the Latino high school dropout rate was 32 percent. In 2012, however, the dropout rate fell to 15 percent. According to NBC, a poll by the National Hispanic Media Coalition and Latino Decisions showed that 51 percent of non-Latinos think Latinos can be “very” or “somewhat well” described as “welfare recipient” while 50 percent think that Latinos are “less educated” and 44 percent believe that Latinos “refuse to learn English.”Prieto defies those stereotypes. After spending the first 13 years of his life commuting from Mexico across the border to attend school in the United States, Prieto’s family moved to El Centro, Calif., so that he and his older brother could attend public school and ultimately attend American universities. Since his father was not an American citizen, Prieto lived with his mother and brother in the United States while his father visited on alternate weekends.“Both of my parents were really supportive, they wanted me to go to an American university rather than a Mexican one so we moved to the U.S.,” Prieto said. “We were well aware of the efforts they did.”Prieto is not alone. Hernandez’s parents emigrated from Mexico and worked as janitors, in bakeries and in factories until they learned English in community college. Her mother is currently a third grade teacher and her father works for a dispatching company.“My parents have always pushed education,” Hernandez said. “My dad because he never got an education and he always regretted that, and my mom because she did and knew that it could open doors for me. It was a given that I was gonna graduate high school, it was given that I was going to go to college.”Kurth’s mother grew up on Normandie Avenue, minutes away from the University Park campus. His mother’s side of his family attended USC decades ago, albeit for different reasons.“Pretty much the only reason why my aunt and uncle went here is because they got full-ride academic scholarships,” Kurth said. “My grandpa had to stop working and they were very low-income. It really shows that hard work does pay off and that’s always been instilled in my household. Don’t allow yourself to feel disadvantaged. No matter what your background is, you can do it.”At USC, Kurth has excelled, winning the 2013 election for Undergraduate Student Government President. He hasn’t forgotten how hard his parents worked to make his successes possible.“[My family] always expected us to go to college,” Kurth said. “They did a lot for the family because their parents didn’t speak any English.”Finding their niche “When I hang out with my friends, they all speak Spanish,” said Isadora Costa, a junior majoring in economics. “But I don’t.”Costa, an international student from Brazil, found that in the United States, the terms Latino and Hispanic are often used interchangeably, even though it is possible to be considered Latino but not Hispanic, Hispanic but not Latino, or both.Those who identify as Latino have cultural roots in a Latin American country in the Western Hemisphere, while Hispanics are those who speak Spanish, which can include people from a number of countries around the world. But many students feel that the diverse Latino student body at USC is often written off as solely Mexican.Jessica Vidal, a senior majoring in political science and sociology, has often been mistaken for Mexican even though she is a first-generation American whose family is originally from Ecuador and Peru.“I always get mistaken for Mexican on campus,” Vidal said. “When I first got to USC it was the strangest thing that everyone automatically assumed I was Mexican because I was Latina.”But the perception of homogenization doesn’t capture the many countries that the term Latino applies to.“A lot of the time, people think, ‘Oh Latino, oh you’re Mexican,” said Priscilla Hernandez, a sophomore majoring in international relations. “[Latinos] are very similar in some aspects but we’re so different in others; we have different types of culture, different types of food, different traditions — even the way we speak is different.”Hernandez grew up in West Covina, Calif., a town with a population of 53.2 percent Latinos according to the U.S. Census Bureau.“People are multiracial,” Hernandez said. “I think people just don’t know. They haven’t really learned a lot about Latin American history.”Stephanie Aceves, co-assistant director of the USC Latino Student Assembly, said that LSA is trying to change this misconception.“The Latino community is typically viewed as being just everyone has the same problem, the same thing, and there’s no way to generalize it,” said Aceves, whose organization works to support Latino students. “[LSA’s] main focus is more visibility to be able to educate others to know that there’s more than just Mexican. There are a ton of different cultures that don’t get a lot of attention.”Sometimes, these misconceptions even come from within the Latino community itself. Though Spanish is his first language, Undergraduate Student Government President Christian Kurth, who is half Mexican, said other Latinos on campus have dismissed him as being Caucasian.“I was part of the Latino Alumni Association and, to be honest, when I go there, sometimes I feel like people are like, ‘Who’s this guy and what is he doing here?’” Kurth said.Kurth’s mother is a first-generation American from Mexico, and attended USC along with his aunt and uncle.“We’re all Latinos regardless of how you look or what part or what kind of Hispanic you are or if you speak Spanish,” Kurth said.The dichotomy between the unifying term and the cultures that fall within it, however, has led to some Latino students feeling alienated from the greater Latino community. Vidal grew up in Westchester, N.Y., where Caucasians comprise about 75 percent of the population, according to the U.S. Census Bureau.“I feel like I have a very different background,” Vidal said. “A lot of the Latinos here are Mexican-American and I grew up in a suburb with not many Latino families and grew up in a very Americanized way.”Many students said the detachment that Vidal describes also exists within the international Latino population, in which many students report feeling estranged from the Latino American community.“The difference between Latinos that are American and international students is huge because even though you are considered a ‘Latino,’ you were raised in America, so you have their culture and values,” said Kim Robles, a sophomore from Mexico who is majoring in business administration. “In contrast, international students were raised in their countries so they are used to having the Latino culture, values and perspectives.”El Centro has been working to integrate more international students into its group but finds the cultural divide difficult to overcome.“With respect to the international students, there’s a matter of cultural perspective,” Vela said. “[Domestic students have] grown up here, we’re very much part of the United States, we’re American. International students are really international students.”Self-segregation and self-empowerment Today, the heterogeneous population comprising the Latino student body is still searching for a niche within the USC community.“It’s almost a blessing and a curse that there’s so much to get involved in,” Kurth said. “There’s all different kinds of people that all fall into this Latino thing.”Vela said students who identify outside the traditional Latino norm have begun to organize clubs and groups, such as the USC Brazilian Club. Costa even made a USC Brazilians Facebook group to connect on campus.Hernandez said she wants Latino students to realize their full potential at the university because there’s a lot to get involved in, and the community is open to everyone.“At the end of the day, every Latino kind of makes their own experience here at USC,” Hernandez said. “Everyone is going to have unique experiences but you shouldn’t be closed off to something. So I think just be open to all the new experiences and see what fits you and what doesn’t.”This is the third in a series about demographics at USC. Check out our demographics supplement this Wednesday, Nov. 6.Follow Sheridan on Twitter @IAmSheridanW Alan Prieto, a native of Mexico, and Daily Trojan staff member, has never felt comfortable with calling himself Latino at USC. Though the university has a large Latino community, with more than 20 student groups geared toward Latino students, Prieto feels as if the organizations often force all who fall under the Latino umbrella into one entity.“I don’t like the term Latino or Hispanic, let alone Chicano — it’s very homogenizing to a whole culture,” said Prieto, a senior majoring in art history and critical studies. “Let’s try to differentiate between being Mexican and being Latino.”Before his move to the United States in the seventh grade, Prieto commuted to a California school from Mexico five days a week and learned English and Spanish simultaneously. His upbringing shows just one facet of the diverse Hispanic and Latino community at USC, a community that has grown to represent 14 percent of the entire USC student population.This 14 percent is made up of thousands of students who come from many countries and cultures. From second-generation Mexican-Americans to first-generation Peruvian- and Ecuadorian-Americans to Brazilian internationals, the USC Latino student body is one of variance. But that diverse student body is often blurred.“It’s not like I’m trying to be political about it and want to try and avoid being a part of those organizations,” Prieto said. “I just don’t think that they represent who I am.”Prieto’s issue is not uncommon. He’s one of many students who said they found themselves marginalized into being categorized as “Latino.”“Although these students tend to have many things in common, they themselves are very diverse as our community is represented by Mexico, Central America, South America, Dominican Republic, Cuba and Puerto Rico,” said William Vela, director of USC’s El Centro Chicano, a department in the USC Division of Student Affairs aimed at helping the Latino community at USC, in an email to the Daily Trojan.Geography is not the only element dividing Latino students. About 50 million Hispanics and 11 million undocumented immigrants currently reside in the U.S., according to the U.S. Census Bureau and the Pew Research Center. In California alone, about 38 percent of the state’s population identify as Hispanic or Latino according to the U.S. Census Bureau.“Then you have folks who are multiracial, first to fourth-generation, various religious affiliations as well as social class variance, amongst tons of other factors that make our community extremely diverse and not monolithic,” Vela said in an email.Many students feel the term Latino, as unifying as it can be to a segment of the population, is also limiting to the diverse cultures that lie under its domain. As Latinos at USC have faced numerous challenges ranging from misconceptions and to friction within the community, many students said identity plays an important role in their lives.“Who’s this guy?”
He came as the final and most important piece of an All-NBA troika. The Clippers already employed DeAndre Jordan and Blake Griffin, but Chris Paul was the ringleader who brought it all together and established an expectation that these perennial do-nothings, upstarts to say the least, could compete in the revamped Western Conference.Six years later, with the Clippers on the verge of playoff elimination and that core perhaps disbanding with no hardware to show for how far they have come, Paul continues to prove himself to be the biggest of the Clippers’ big three.“Whenever we’ve asked Chris to step up and take over a basketball game,” Jordan said, “he’s been able to do that.”On Friday, that meant scoring a team-high 29 points to carry the Clippers to a 98-93 Game 6 win in Utah, setting the stage for a dramatic do-or-die showdown Sunday afternoon at Staples Center. Coach Doc Rivers said Paul “willed” the latest victory for the Clippers. Since Paul was traded to L.A., the Clippers are 3-1 in Game 7 appearances, with the lone loss coming in their infamous collapse against Houston in the second round of the 2015 postseason. They are 3-3 in franchise history.J.J. Redick said Game 7 is always “very emotional.” He has played in four of them in his career, three with the Clippers.The playoffs, he said, “amplify that emotion” that is inherent to professional basketball.“Especially when it’s an elimination game and your season is on the brink of being done,” he said. “So when both teams are in an elimination game it can be very emotional.”If the Clippers are going to beat the Jazz in this matchup of the No. 4 and No. 5 seeds – the only first-round series to require seven games – chances are it will come down to Paul in the fourth quarter, as each of the Clippers’ three wins in the playoffs have. “That’s what we practice for,” Paul said. “That’s what you’re in the gym for during the summer when you’re working out and you’re training, the guys are leaning on you and counting on you.”While the Jazz has needed different players to have big performances from one night to the next, for the Clippers it has been Paul, with scattered contributions from role players.In Game 3 in Salt Lake City, after Griffin went down, Paul scored nine straight points for the Clippers amid a 15-0 run in the fourth quarter to ensure a win and 2-1 series lead.The series has had plenty of dramatic swings, but Paul has not been among them. The point guard has been remarkably consistent, scoring between 21 and 34 points in each of the six games, averaging 27.3 per game – ninth among all players in the postseason.Only Russell Westbrook and John Wall have averaged more than Paul’s 10 assists in the playoffs, and both have committed far more turnovers.“He’s so unselfish,” Jordan said. “He wants to get other guys going, but sometimes we need him to get going (himself). He’s been able to do that and he’s been able to find a medium of that in this series and just take advantage of whatever they’re giving him and still be able to get other guys involved and keep everybody engaged.”After breaking his hand in the first round last season, with free agency looming whenever this season ends, this time around, Paul is giving the Clippers hope.“It’s just Chris,” Rivers said, “he is as competitive a human being as I’ve ever been around and when you put that with the talent and the will that’s why he has performances like this in big games.” Newsroom GuidelinesNews TipsContact UsReport an Error
Yet, the Lakers sense Clarkson and Russell remain motivated about something else more pure.“I don’t think either one of those guys are worried about that phase of it. They’re more worried about wins,” Lakers coach Byron Scott said. “They seem to get along extremely well. Both of those guys want each other to do well. Their chemistry is undeniable when you see them on the court and off the court.”Russell frequently looked to set up Clarkson in Summer League play, which contributed to a team-leading 16.8 points per contest. Russell jokingly interrupted Clarkson’s post-game interviews. The two recently coached together at the Power 106 All-Star game. They also frequently play paintball together, too. “He’s not one of those serious vets that you can’t crack a smile around. He’s a young dude and still growing. I’m the same way with my first year,” Russell said. “I’m a goofy guy. He’s a goofy guy. We complement each other.”Practical reasons exist why that has happened. Said Russell: “If I was a scoring guard and looked to score as much as possible, then I could see (tension). But I feel like I can play with anybody.”Said Clarkson: “We’re two totally different players. He’s an excellent passer and I’m more aggressive.”Officially, Scott has not yet determined if Russell and Clarkson will start together in the backcourt while Kobe Bryant starts at small forward. But if that likely scenario unfolds, Russell and Clarkson already showed glimpses in Summer League and training camp how that would work. Though the dynamic forced them to share ball-handling duties, Russell and Clarkson determined how to even up that workload pretty easily. Russell mostly handled the ball and organized the offense, while Clarkson mostly moved off the ball and looked to score. The roles only switched whenever Clarkson grabbed the rebound. That made Russell envision something he would not have thought when the Lakers brought him in for a second pre-draft workouts.Said Russell: “I feel like we grow together after every practice.” Clarkson immediately welcomed Russell with open arms after the Lakers selected him second overall. During Summer League play, Russell’s pass-first mentality complemented Clarkson’s quest to score. And through four days of training camp here at Stan Sheriff Center, the two often have dined together after practice.Even before the Lakers drafted Russell, Clarkson never showed any hint of insecurity that such a move could leave his job security vulnerable. “To win, you have to have great players around you,” Clarkson told Los Angeles News Group. “That’s my biggest thing. This is a five-man sport. You can’t win by yourself. Maybe back in the day when (Kobe Bryant) was doing his thing. But he had pieces around him, too.”Sounds like a simple concept. But the business end in professional sports can complicate things. Clarkson will make $845,059 in the 2015-16 season in what marks the league minimum for a second-year player. But Clarkson could then net a lucrative deal next summer as a restricted free agent should he build off his rookie season. That partly explains why Clarkson joined Octagon sports agency, where he will be represented by agents Jeff Austin and Chris Emens, according to league sources. Earlier this summer, Clarkson and Excel Sports Management had cut ties. Meanwhile, the Lakers have held out hope Russell will become the franchise’s next cornerstone. HONOLULU >> The call came unexpectedly. The Lakers informed D’Angelo Russell they wanted to host him for a second draft workout, his playmaking and confidence at the point guard spot intriguing the team’s front office enough to consider him instead of a prized big man (Jahlil Okafor). But even if the interest felt flattering, Russell still wondered aloud about the Lakers’ interest. He remained well aware of Jordan Clarkson’s emergence as a member on the NBA’s All-Rookie First team after starting 38 of the Lakers’ last 39 games at the same position. “He already assumed we had a ball-handling guard,” Lakers general manager Mitch Kupchak recalled. “Our position with him was, ‘The reason we’re bringing you in a second time is we feel like you can play together.’ He was taken aback. He said, ‘Really?’ We said, ‘Really. That’s why we’re bringing you in a second time. We feel you guys can play together.’”The Lakers’ instincts appear correct. Newsroom GuidelinesNews TipsContact UsReport an Error