Utah Jazz guard Jordan Clarkson named 2020-21 NBA Sixth Man of the Year
The Jazz’s leading scorer off the bench, who also led the league in bench scoring this season, is the first Utah Jazz player to win the Sixth Man award.
Jordan Clarkson is the NBA Sixth Man of the Year.
The Jazz’s leading scorer off the bench, who also led the league in bench scoring this season, is the first Utah Jazz player to ever win the award.
Clarkson and fellow Sixth Man of the Year finalist and teammate Joe Ingles appeared on Inside the NBA on TNT remotely Monday in what Clarkson thought was just going to be an interview about both players’ roles on the team and the success of the Jazz.
Host Ernie Johnson quizzed the players on their knowledge of the 6MOY past award winners. But when he asked his third and final question, “How many Utah Jazz players have won it?” Clarkson answered zero and Ingles said one and then pointed to Clarkson.
Ingles was then handed the Sixth Man of the Year trophy and he presented it to Clarkson, who was completely shocked.
“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.”
Clarkson averaged a career-high 18.4 points, 4.0 rebounds and 2.5 assists in 26.7 minutes in 68 games this season. His scoring average of 18.3 points as a reserve was the highest in the NBA.
Clarkson later spoke with local reporters and said that having Ingles present the award was especially significant, not only because they were both in the running to win it, but also because of the bond they share and how much of an example Ingles has been, also taking on a bench role after being a starter.
“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.”
“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.” — Utah Jazz guard Jordan Clarkson
Clarkson credited former teammates Lou Williams and J.R. Smith, who have also won the 6MOY award, with being mentors throughout his career and helping to guide him through the early years of his career.
“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 said. “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.”
The San Antonio native said that he doesn’t usually do well with surprises but with his daughter, girlfriend, family and friends in town for the first two games of the playoffs he’s excited to celebrate the achievement with them and enjoy the moment.