Jordan Clarkson recalls indescribable Fiba World Cup stint in Manila
MANILA, Philippines—Jordan Clarkson had the rare experience playing with Kobe Bryant in his first two years in the NBA and then with LeBron James during the 2017-18 season with the Cleveland Cavaliers.
Clarkson even had a taste of what it’s like to play in the NBA Finals as a member of the Cavaliers in 2018 before he was traded to Utah where his career flourished and saw him win the Sixth Man of the Year award in 2021.
The following season, Clarkson led the Jazz in scoring in the playoffs with 17.5 points on 55 percent shooting from the field.
The Filipino-American guard has experienced a lot in his basketball career and yet, representing the Philippines in the 2023 Fiba World Cup left him beyond words.
"It's just love…something you really can't describe."
— NBA (@NBA) October 2, 2023
“It’s just love, it’s just something you can’t describe. It was something that you got to be there to see and feel the energy,” said Clarkson during the Jazz’s Media Day on Tuesday (Manila time).
“I know everybody who came and played in Manila felt that especially NBA guys and guys from other countries were getting hounded as well. The Philippines is really a big basketball country and I know everybody felt it.”
The 31-year-old Clarkson was among the several NBA stars who suited up for their respective countries in the global showcase co-hosted by the Philippines, Japan and Indonesia.
He finished as the second leading scorer in the World Cup averaging 26.0 points through five games behind Dallas Mavericks superstar Luka Doncic, who led Slovenia to a quarterfinal appearance before settling for seventh place.
Gilas Pilipinas went 1-4 in the World Cup with its lone win coming at the expense of continental rival China in a game where Clarkson erupted for 34 points.
The 6-foot-5 Clarkson is entering his 10th season in the NBA. He is coming off career-bests 20.8 points, 4.0 rebounds and 4.4 assists a game last season.
Clarkson signed a three-year, $55 million contract extension with the Jazz last July.