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Jazz G Jordan Clarkson Sounds Off After Philippines Bounced From FIBA

Have Utah Jazz fans seen the last of Jordan Clarkson playing for the Philippines?

Utah Jazz shooting guard Jordan Clarkson is getting some recognition after a strong showing in the FIBA World Cup. ESPN insider Brian Windhorst dished his thoughts on how the former Sixth Man of the Year is perceived in the NBA after his 34-point performance in the Philippines' 96-75 victory over China.

“I think he’s perceived in the NBA for doing exactly what he did in that game, which is the ability to score a lot of points really fast,” Windhorst said. “Jordan has found a niche in the NBA, which is that he will be that guy who is a scorer off the bench, and you can play in the NBA for 15 years and make a lot of money doing it, and he just signed an extension to do more of that for the Utah Jazz who are well represented here in Manilla. I think it’s terrific that he embraces this opportunity.”

Clarkson was the focal point on a team in which he was the only rostered NBA player, and while being double-teamed for much of the tournament, Clarkson still averaged 26 points and 5.2 assists per contest. With the FIBA tournament now in Clarkson’s rearview mirror, one has to wonder if it’s the last time he will suit up in a Philippines jersey.

It remains to be seen whether the Philippines will qualify for the 2024 Olympics, although by beating China, it's still in contention to make the cut. Also, the next FIBA World Cup isn’t until 2028, when Clarkson will be 35 years old. 

However, despite the unclear path of the next opportunity to play for the Philippines, Clarkson feels this won’t be the last time he’ll be seen on the international stage.

“I don't think this is the last performance in this jersey. I think I have one more time,” Clarkson told reporters. “I can still hoop—hopefully, down the line, when the time comes around again, I’ll be able to put this jersey on and represent the country.”

As we look ahead to the 2023-24 season, playing for the Philippines isn’t the only unclear situation. The developing story of who will be starting in Utah’s backcourt this year will be something for Jazz fans to watch.

Clarkson will be logging 30 minutes a contest, but whether it’s as a starter or coming off the bench is in question. Including Clarkson, six players (Collin Sexton, Talen Horton-Tucker, Kris Dunn, Keyonte George, and Ochai Agbaji) will compete for two starting spots. 

Clarkson will be the favorite to lock down one of them, but it’s not out of the realm of possibility to revert to his familiar role as the sixth man. Jazz fans will be getting some answers soon.

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