Daily 49er

Dear, Jordan Clarkson and Larry Nance Jr.

The former lakers were traded to Cleveland and now wear No. 8 and 24 in Kobe Bryant’s honor.


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As I sit here at 1:43 a.m., I’ve finally built up the courage to write about the pain that has been lingering in my heart. Let’s start with what happened on Feb. 8.

It was a normal Thursday morning, and then it happened. ESPN Senior NBA Insider Adrian Wojnarowski dropped a trademark “Woj-bomb” that sent my emotions into a frenzy. At 9:05 a.m., my whole world stopped when he tweeted Jordan Clarkson and Larry Nance Jr. were traded to the Cleveland Cavaliers.

I’ve been through breakups in my life, but this went beyond anything that came before. My eyes watered up and everything seemed so dark. Going through my day was difficult. The day felt longer, my walk to the newsroom felt harder and even eating felt a lot less enjoyable.

My name is Kevin Colindres, and this is my love letter to the men who stole my heart.

It was 2014 and the start of my senior year of high school when I seriously got back into watching Lakers basketball. The team was atrocious, but there was a beacon of hope: Clarkson.

The Lakers had a draft day trade with the Washington Wizards that sent the 46th pick to Los Angeles. The rookie from San Antonio did not play for the first half of the season, but would get 38 starts in the last half of the year. Clarkson would average 15.8 points, 5.0 assists and 4.2 rebounds as a starter, and I fell in love. The young buck had a chip on his shoulder and it was exciting to see such a talent prosper.

Like all relationships, things didn’t pan out exactly as I would have wanted, but the happy and fun moments outweighed the dark, and sometimes sad, moments. Now, let’s talk about this year. For the first time in five years, I felt hopeful with how the Lakers have been playing. A lot of that had to do with how Clarkson has been as a teammate and player. We both matured together in the last four years, and it finally felt like things were going to work out between us. You know how this one ends.

It wasn’t enough for me to lose just one player on Thursday; Nance Jr. was gone. A year after Clarkson was drafted, Nance Jr. would be selected with the 27th pick in the draft. The high flying dunker quickly became a fan favorite for his scrappy play and above average defense. I’ll never forget his dunks on Brook Lopez and David West. Larry, they were legendary. Seeing him consistently hustle like no one else was always inspiring, which motivated me in my own life when I play basketball.

It took me a while to digest the trade as I went back and forth to see what was better for the team, but things only got harder when it was announced that Clarkson would wear number eight, while Nance Jr. would wear 24 to honor Kobe Bryant. The tears were back, but I told myself that it was finally time to move on and let my boys grow into their own. After seeing them play their first game in the Cleveland, I felt happy to see them succeed.

Sometimes when you really love someone, you have to let them go. And that’s what I’ve learned in the past week. This has been the hardest break up I’ve ever gone through, but I know that things are going in the right direction. Better days are ahead, with the likes of Brandon Ingram, Kyle Kuzma and Lonzo Ball, but it’s always hard to get over your first love. Hopefully in the next few weeks my days will be brighter, my walk to the newsroom will be easier and my heart will be fully be healed. Love you guys.

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