ASIAN GAMES: Is Clarkson actually worth all that trouble for Gilas?
Paul Lintag on Aug 21, 2018 07:53 AM
Clarkson would have to play several games for the Philippines to know his actual worth with Gilas but based on everything that we currently know, the national team moving heaven and earth just to have the Jordan on board is a gamble that should provide high reward. (Photo courtesy of Jordan Clarkson's Facebook page)
So why all the trouble with Jordan Clarkson and Gilas Pilipinas? Is there actual substance behind the sizzle?
Is the hype going to be worth it?
Clarkson would have to play several games for the Philippines to know his actual worth with Gilas but based on everything that we currently know, the national team moving heaven and earth just to have the Jordan on board is a gamble that should provide high reward.
The moment Clarkson actually plays for Gilas, which is on Tuesday vs. China in the 2018 Asian Games, he instantly becomes the best NBA player to play for an Asian team right now and for the immediate foreseeable future.
He would also be the best NBA player playing for an Asian team since perhaps Yao Ming.
Not counting Australia and New Zealand, most true Asian teams don't actually have legitimate NBA talents on their respective rosters.
Iran and China had Hamed Haddadi and Yi Jianlian for years now but even at their peak, their NBA impact pales in comparison to what Clarkson brings to the table now.
China currently has Zhou Qi and Ding Yanyuhang in its Asian Games roster. Both players can't hold a candle to Jordan when it comes to NBA production. Qi was the only Asian listed in the NBA's opening-day rosters from last season. Clarkson is listed as an American.
Sure, Clarkson didn't exactly perform well in his first chance to play NBA basketball with actual high stakes. His NBA Finals performance has been a source of comedy material.
However, the Fil-Am combo guard is a proven contributor in the NBA regardless of his shortcomings as a player.
Clarkson has career averages of 14.1 points on 44 percent shooting, 3.2 rebounds, and 2.8 assists in the NBA.
Despite playing only 59 games for the Lakers, he was 1st team All-Rookie in 2015, going for 11.9 points, 3.2 rebounds, and a career-high 3.5 assists.
The following season, he posted career highs in scoring [15.5 points] and rebounding [4.0 rebounds] while playing 79 games for the purple and gold.
Those are solid NBA numbers, which gives Gilas hope that Clarkson can dominate for the Philippine team.
Head coach Yeng Guiao believes that Jordan is in a class above everyone else in the Asian Games.
We'll find out if that's actually the case, starting with the mega showdown with regional powerhouse China.
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