MANILA, Philippines — Jordan Clarkson believes he has turned into an All-Star caliber player after embracing the leadership role for the revamped Utah Jazz this NBA season.
As one of the few holdovers for the Jazz, Clarkson has been shining as a starting guard for his team, averaging 20.7 points, 4.5 assists, and 3.9 rebounds in 43 games as Utah sits ninth in the Western Conference with a 21-23 record.
Emerging as a leader for his young squad, the Filipino-American cager would love to represent Utah and the Philippines in the All-Star game held at their home court on February 19.
“I think I’m playing at an All-Star caliber,” said Clarkson during his virtual media availability with Philippine media on Friday.
“I think I’m playing at a high level. I know in the West they got a lot of talented guards but I feel like I can represent Utah and the Philippines in the All-Star game. If it happens, I’ll definitely be grateful and excited,” he added.
However, Clarkson wasn’t part of the Top 10 guards in the All-Star starters polls in the West, led by Golden State star Stephen Curry with 3,901,808 votes, followed by Luka Doncic of Dallas with 3,649,647 as of the second fan voting returns. Voting ends on Jan. 22, 12:59 pm Philippine time.
WEST All-Star 2nd returns! Do you agree? 👀
— NBA (@NBA) January 12, 2023
The NBA coaches will select the All-Star reserves.
Although the 30-year-old guard dreams to play in the All-Star spectacle, his focus remains on leading the Jazz to get more wins to improve their standings before the break.
“For now, not concentrating too much on that [All-Star]. [I’m] concentrating on getting these wins and trying to keep rebuilding this team towards the top of the West,” Clarkson said. “We gotta win more games before the All-Star break, [which will] kinda push us up.”
Clarkson is just grateful for all the votes he received, especially from the Filipino fans who have been campaigning for him to be part of the Utah All-Star Weekend.
“It makes me feel great to be loved and supported. Best feeling ever. For me, I definitely want to represent myself, my family, the country in the All-Star game and just feel the love like always,” he said.
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