Utah Jazz guard Jordan Clarkson edged out teammate Joe Ingles and New York Knicks guard Derrick Rose to win the NBA Sixth Man of the Year award on Monday. As a result, he became the first Utah Jazz player to achieve this honour as well.
“For me, it was tough,” Clarkson said in an interview with TNT’s “Inside The NBA.”
“My first couple years because I started in L.A. during that time, but just coming to myself and trying to find the impact I can have in this game, and what I can bring to it. When I got that role I just kind of took it, worked at it, and this situation — being traded here to Utah from Cleveland — it really enhanced everything, just because everybody knows their role, and knows what they are doing. I just accepted it, and just took it as one and kept rolling with it,” he added.
Utah Jazz would have been delighted to see two of their players in Clarkson and Ingles ending up as the finalists for the award. And TNT asked Ingles to hand over the award to Clarkson after the voting results were announced.
Host Ernie Jackson made the event quite fun as he asked a couple of trivia questions about the history of the award and then asked both Ingles and Jackson about the number of Jazz players who had previously won the award.
Clarkson responded with ‘Zero’, whereas Ingles, who knew the result already, showed his index finger to indicate ‘One’ as the answer and then he grabbed the trophy and handed it over to Clarkson who was quite stunned.
“Thanks for passing me this ball, man,” Clarkson said with a smile.
“He stole it from me,” Ingles joked. “I should’ve stopped passing him the ball.”
During his seven-year NBA career, Clarkson has also played for the Los Angeles Lakers and Cavaliers apart from the Jazz. During the 2020-21 season, Clarkson averaged a career-high 18.4 points, 4.0 rebounds and 2.5 assists in 26.7 minutes in 68 games.
Clarkson received 65 out of the 100 votes that were cast for the first place by the global panel of sportswriters and broadcasters.