MANILA, Philippines – After a wild rollercoaster ride of basketball drama, Fil-Am guard Jordan Clarkson is finally allowed by all parties concerned to represent the Philippines in the 2018 Asian Games in Indonesia.
The 6-foot-5 Cleveland Cavaliers stalwart is expected to give a massive scoring boost for the Rain or Shine-heavy core of head coach Yeng Guiao.
But before Clarkson suits up – likely against Zhou Qi and China on Tuesday, August 21 – let’s look at some numbers concerning his five-year NBA run so far and remind ourselves just how good he really is.
In just his second season as an NBA pro, a then-23-year-old Clarkson averaged 15.5 points in 79 games with the Los Angeles Lakers. He was the second-leading scorer of the team just behind Laker legend and future Hall of Famer Kobe Bryant, who normed 17.6 markers in his 20th and final NBA season.
Just one season after Bryant’s retirement, Clarkson gave up his starting job to then-rookie guard D’Angelo Russell. Still, he showed his scoring prowess by averaging 14.7 points in 63 games off the bench out of 82 total played.
And on March 24, 2017, his hot hands were on full display after he dropped 35 points with 8 three-pointers – both career-highs – against Karl-Anthony Towns and the Minnesota Timberwolves.
But “JC” is not all about scoring. Being a combo guard, the 26-year-old is routinely tasked to facilitate the offense, and he can do that as well.
This was in full display last March 30, 2015, when a rookie Clarkson recorded a career-high 11 assists to go with 26 points against the then-rebuilding (or “Processing”) Philadelphia 76ers.
Oh, and he nailed the game-winner to boot. All in a day’s work.
Changing conferences did not change Clarkson’s scoring punch. And he proved this last February 11, 2018, when he took his talents to Northeast Ohio to suit up for the Cleveland Cavaliers.
On his Cavs debut against no less than Kyrie Irving and the Boston Celtics, Clarkson dropped 17 points en route to a 121-99 blowout right on the Celtics’ home floor.
So yeah, Clarkson is pretty good at this basketball thing at the highest level. With him now finally donning the Gilas colors, a gold medal finish in the Asiad is no longer just a dream. If we are to break the 20-year medal drought, the time is definitely now while we have the chance. – Rappler.com