Utah Jazz guard Jordan Clarkson has been fined $25,000 by the NBA for pushing referee Karl Lane during the Thursday-night game between them and the Phoenix Suns at Vivint Arena.
The incident took place when Clarkson was trying to gather a loose ball he had deflected after scoring a bucket early in the second quarter. The ball, however, bounced off Lane’s foot toward the baseline as the referee was in Clarkson’s path. Lane did try to get away from the path but Clarkson bumped him out of reflex, but pushed him after that which was not an acceptable behaviour.
Lane immediately handed Clarkson a technical foul and it was Chris Paul who made a free throw to tie the game at 24. Jazz never got closer than three points during the rest of the game as the incident began a 7-0 run for the Suns.
However, Clarkson joked about the incident on instagram and also praised the efforts of his teammates after the Jazz beat the LA Clippers at the Vivint Arena on Friday.
“Great way to start 2021 ! a team win and $25k lighter!,” he wrote, adding a laughing emoji. “Road Trip lets get it!”
Before the game, LA head coach Tyronn Lue spoke about the time Clarkson had played under him at Cleveland in 2018, when the Cavaliers had made it to the NBA Finals.
“I think coming to Cleveland and having a chance to play with our team, LeBron (James) and (Kevin Love) and the guys that we had there, I think it gave him a chance to really grow up,” Lue said.
“All he had ever seen was the (Los Angeles) Lakers. He got drafted there, so coming to Cleveland, having a chance to play in the playoffs for his first time, going to the NBA Finals for his first time, I think he had a chance to see what it took and what it was like. After that, he’s just been great.”
Lue also said that he has noticed how Clarkson’s performances have had a huge impact on the Jazz, after he got traded to them last season from the Cavaliers. Lue feels that he will scale greater heights after Clarkson signed a four-year contract with the Jazz during the off-season.
“The team showing him his worth I think has made him even more comfortable,” Lue said, “so he’s really grown and matured a lot, and I think he’s ready to take that next step.”