Filipino-American guard Jordan Clarkson dons the Philippine Flag in SLAM Magazine cover feature alongside his teammate of Finnish-descent, Lauri Markkanen. The 2021 Sixth Man of the Year recipient sported the City Edition Utah Jazz threads in tribute to the 90s Stockton-Malone run, black gel manicure, a player exclusive colorway from Demar DeRozan’s closet, and the flag draped over his shoulders.
The departure of the Gobert-Mitchell tandem sparked uncertainty for the historic franchise. Arguably one of the more notable guard-forward/center duos post-Malone/Stockton, Utah seemed to be in shambles as the acquisition of Clarkson and Markkanen was intended to spearhead the rebuild. Regardless of this direction, the pair exceeded expectations, making the Jazz one of the more exciting teams to watch this season.
The 2022-23 National Basketball Association (NBA) season did not translate favorably for Salt Lake City, being 1.5 GB the final play-in slot, yet showcased the overall potential of the youthful squad . Clarkson assumed a more active and leader-centric role, as a member of the first unit. The national team cager has been performing at a career-high, tallying 20.8 points and 4.4 assists in 61 games with the team.
Despite a relatively subpar regular season for Utah, Clarkson places faith in his team—filled with unwavering potential and determination to succeed.
“We’ve got a bunch of young guys who are willing to prove themselves, coming in here to work. …That’s like a foundation point of anything,” Clarkson mentions.
Representing three franchises in almost a decade in the league, the Tampa-native seems to have found his footing in Utah. The team still has a mountain to climb to compete with western conference juggernauts, yet this does not seem to phase Clarkson, as learning and growth is “ultimately part of the process.”
Jordan Clarkson’s availability for Gilas Pilipinas for the FIBA World Cup campaign in August is still in question. Samahang Basketbol Ng Pilipinas hopes to aquire the 6′5″ guard, coupled with the inside presence of Kai Sotto establishing chemistry within its core, given their joint-experience in the last FIBA World Cup 2023 Asian Qualifiers.