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Jordan Clarkson Becomes First Ever Utah Jazz Player to win NBA Sixth Man Award

Utah Jazz guard Jordan Clarkson was named the 2021 NBA’s Sixth Man of the Year award on Monday evening, beating teammate Joe Ingles and New York Knicks guard Derrick Rose for the award.

Clarkson, who not only leads the Jazz in bench scoring, but the entire league, is the first Utah Jazz player to ever win the award. Having one of his best seasons in the seven years he’s been in the league, the point guard averaged a career-high of 18.4 points, 4.0 rebounds and 2.5 assists in 26.7 minutes in 68 games. Clarkson has become a key factor to the team’s success, especially on the scoring level. He hit a career-high of 208 three-pointers overall, which ranks seventh in the NBA among all players. He recorded two games with at least 40 points, five games with at least 30 points and 23 games with at least 20 points off the bench.

The exciting news came on “NBA on TNT,” where Clarkson and fellow Sixth Man of the Year finalist and teammate Joe Ingles appeared in an interview. In surprising fashion, host Ernie Johnson and Ingles sneakily revealed Clarkson had won the award through a couple of trivia questions. 

Thankful for the honor, Clarkson noted that he’s not done yet, stating he’s aiming for something bigger than the Sixth Man of the year trophy.

“This is wild,” Clarkson said. “This trophy does mean something, means a lot of work. But we’re going for something else, we’ve got bigger goals ahead of us and that’s what we’re going to try to go get, we’re trying to get another trophy.”

Although Ingles wasn’t able to come away with the award, his contributions and talents have not gone unnoticed. Clarkson spoke on his teammates’ impact on the Jazz, mentioning how significant the role Ingles played to the team. He also highlighted the bond the two of them had.

“One of my closest teammates,” Clarkson said. “We’ve sat in locker rooms where it’s just been me and him and had conversations about my personal life and stuff like that, and he sits across from me on a plane and we hang out. We drink beers together and we should come out with a beer company soon with how many beers we drink on off days.”

Clarkson credited former teammates Lou Williams and J.R. Smith, who have also won the Sixth Man of the Year award. He thanked them for being mentors throughout his career and guiding him through the early stages as a young NBA player.

“Having a teammate like J.R., Lou Will, and even just having conversations with Jamal (Crawford), there’s just something they all kind of passed down to me,” Clarkson explained. “I remember Lou was big on me in L.A. with slowing down with life and everything, just giving me so much knowledge that I really wasn’t able to accept when I was a young player in the NBA…but all the stuff he told me I really took it into account as I got older.”

With Clarkson and Ingles aid, Utah finished the season with an NBA-best 52-20 record and the fifth-highest single-season winning percentage in franchise history (.722). As a year of making history, Clarkson’s team will try to follow in his record-breaking footsteps, aiming to win their first ever NBA Finals. 

 

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