Jordan Clarkson has a combined 1.95 million followers on Instagram and Twitter, played for the seventh-most valuable team in sports with the Los Angeles Lakers and won Sixth Man of the Year with the NBA’s best regular-season team in the Utah Jazz last year. Still, the 29-year-old combo guard can go unrecognized in his home city.
Hayley Crombleholme, a reporter at KUTV in Salt Lake City, looked to interview people on the street about the Jazz’s upcoming season. Her subject: none other than Clarkson, who’s spent the last two seasons powering Utah’s second unit.
“So, did you go to any Jazz games?” Crombleholme asked, to which Clarkson deadpanned then responded, “Yeah, a lot.”
A lot of the Jazz’s success last season was a product of Clarkson’s microwave-ready offense. Clarkson posted a career-high 18.4 points per game and tied career-highs in rebounds with 4.0 and steals with 0.9. He also shot 34.7 percent from three-point range on a whopping 8.8 attempts per game, the fifth-highest rate in the NBA.
To make matters even more embarrassing for Crombleholme, she asked Clarkson to spell his first and last name before the interview yet still didn’t recognize him.
Clarkson — who also spent time with the Lakers and Cleveland Cavaliers — issued his support to Crombleholme after the botched interview went viral, writing “haha Lets GO JAZZ! Cant wait to get started!!!” in response to her initial Tweet.
Joe Ingles, Clarkson’s teammate, had a few laughs of his own at Clarskon’s expense.
Despite the Jazz’s recent regular-season success — five-straight playoff appearances with three trips to the Western Conference semifinals under coach Quin Snyder — the team hasn’t made the NBA Finals since the John Stockton- and Karl Malone-led Jazz lost to the Chicago Bulls in 1997-98.
If Clarkson can help take Utah to the Finals again and potentially give the team its first ever NBA championship, the chances of him going unrecognized in Salt Lake City would have to dip significantly.