Jazz G Clarkson surprised on live TV with Sixth Man Award originally appeared on NBC Sports Washington
The first NBA award of 2021 has been awarded.
Jordan Clarkson became the first Utah Jazz player to be awarded as the NBA’s Sixth Man of the Year on Monday, and the way in which he received the honor was priceless.
Teammate and Sixth Man Award runner-up Joe Ingles surprised Clarkson live on TNT ahead of Game 2 between the Bucks and Heat. As host Ernie Johnson quizzed the duo about the award’s history, Ingles unveiled the honor and Clarkson laughed in glee.
“How many Utah Jazz players have won it?” Johnson asked.
“Zero,” Clarkson said.
“One,” Ingles retorted.
“Oh, who’s the one?” Johnson inquired.
Then, the celebration was on as Ingles showed why he’s the ultimate teammate, wearing a Clarkson flamethrower T-shirt for the special occasion.
Clarkson’s play off the bench has been a big reason why the Jazz finished the regular season with the league’s best record (52-20) en route to the No. 1 seed in the Western Conference. Clarkson started only once but managed to record a career-high 18.4 points, 4.0 rebounds and 2.5 assists in 26.7 minutes in 68 games.
A global panel of 100 sportswriters and broadcasters awarded Clarkson with 65 first-place votes, 29 more than Ingles. Knicks guard Derrick Rose’s resurgence since being traded from Detroit earned him a third-place finish.
Clarkson has thrived in his role off the bench for Quinn Snyder’s offense predicated on playmaking guard play ever since arriving in a trade from Cleveland on Dec. 24, 2019. Utah’s four-year, $51 million investment certainly appears to be paying off.
In his first full season with the Jazz, Clarkson has scored 40 points off the bench twice, the only player in Utah franchise history to do so. In two games against the Wizards, though, Clarkson was inactive for one and managed only seven points in the Wizards’ March 18 victory.