Clarkson’s dream deferred no more
No medal will dangle on Jordan Clarkson’s neck when he returns to duty next week for the Cleveland Cavaliers from the Asian Games in Indonesia.
But Clarkson, who got special permission from the NBA to play in the continental version of the Olympics, can still feel satisfied because his dream of suiting up for the Philippines in an international basketball competition is deferred no more.
Jordan’s mom, Annette Tullao Davis, traces her roots to Angeles City, Pampanga.
Although the Philippines will more than likely finish fifth in the Asiad basketball tournament of 13 nations, there was no denying that Clarkson stamped his class on the competition with his outstanding play and scoring.
US-born Ricardo Preston Ratliffe, instrumental in defending champion South Korea’s 91-82 come-from-behind victory over Clarkson and the Gilas national side in the quarterfinals, was generous with praise for his former University of Missouri teammate.
“He (Clarkson) did what he does best,” said Ratliffe, as he highlighted the Cleveland Cavalier’s best efforts that yielded 20 points plus in each of the three games he has played.
The Philippines cobbled together a team at the last minute after 10 of their players were suspended in an on-court brawl during a World Cup qualifier, a scenario not lost on Ratliffe.
“I think it has do a lot with the chemistry; they are a new team,” he told reporters. “Had they got chemistry … I think they would have done very very well.”
Clarkson, whose exploits in Jakarta were followed every step of the way in the Cavaliers’ official website and that of Cavsnation, will go into training camp as an alternate point guard to starter George Hill.
But he will be paid a King’s ransom just the same.
With LeBron James’ departure for Los Angeles, Cavs center Kevin Love becomes number one in Crain’s list of Cleveland’s 50 highest paid athletes with a yearly income of $22.6 million.
Like last year, the Cavaliers have five of the 10 highest-paid players on the 2018 list.
Love, center Tristan Thompson, with a base salary of nearly $17.5 million, and guard JR Smith ($14.7 million) are holdovers from the 2017 list.
Joining them in place of James and Iman Shumpert are two guards who joined the Cavs last season when the team reshuffled in midseason with the trade of Isaiah Thomas: Hill at $19 million, and Clarkson, who makes $12.5 million.
The city’s professional baseball team the Indians has four players in the top 10 and the Cleveland Browns football franchise has one.
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