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Clarkson focuses on Jazz

‘I feel really great about this
role, I’ve really been taking advantage of the opportunity.’

Jordan Clarkson said he is focused on helping the Utah Jazz reach the top of the National Basketball Association Western Conference.

In a virtual press conference on Friday, the 30-year-old swingman said that while he appreciates the Filipinos’ help in earning a spot in the NBA All-Star Series, his priority remains in helping the Jazz rack more wins in the West.

Utah currently ranks ninth in the conference with a 21-23 win-loss record.

“I can represent Utah, (and) the Philippines at the All-Star game if that happens (that I get in). But right now, I’m not concentrating too much on that,” Clarkson said.

“I’m concentrating on getting these wins. For me, I really wanna represent myself, my family, [and] the country in the All-Star game to just feel the love like always.”

Ever since Clarkson has been integrated into the Jazz starting lineup with key cogs Donovan Mitchell and Rudy Gobert getting traded, the former NBA Sixth Man of the Year has been on a tear; ultimately becoming the team’s vocal leader.

He is averaging career-high numbers of 20.7 points and 4.5 assists per game, going along with 3.9 boards while shooting at a respectable 45 percent field goal clip.

When asked about the biggest factor of his elevating performance so far, he said he’s “just picking his spots.”

“I feel really great about this role, I’ve really been taking advantage of the opportunity.”

Clarkson credited the work he has done this past summer to get him ready for the bigger role after coming off the bench in the past five years, even adding that his Gilas Pilipinas stint helped him.

“I’ve been preparing all summer; working out, doing the same things I’ve been doing in the summertime. I think I just had to prepare a little bit earlier this year because I had to play in FIBA with Gilas and that’s one thing that got me ready to play this year,” he said.

He dismissed rumors about a potential contract extension with the Jazz.

“I never had any communication with them in terms of extension from my side or my team that I’ve known of,” Clarkson said.

“If those talks are happening sometime soon, I would love to be here in Utah and continue to play with my teammates further. In terms of right now, I don’t think there’s been much talking in terms of that.”

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