Yin and yang by Jordan Clarkson, interplanetary rock star Utah Jazz

Editor’s note • This story is only available to Salt Lake Tribune subscribers. Thank you for supporting local journalism.

When Jordan Clarkson is told that almost every member of the Utah Jazz team who has been asked about him and his unique personality always uses some variation on “unique atmosphere,” the ruling sixth man of the year is atypically guarded. , even confused.

His initial, muted answer basically answers: If they say, OK, it’s okay, but I really have no opinion on that.

But let’s move forward quickly, about two and a half minutes later, to the part where he took this premise with all seriousness:

“I’m different than.” [anyone] in the world, dot. I’d say I’m from another planet! “

AND there is JC, whom we met.

When Jazz regained Clarkson of the Cleveland Cavaliers on December 23, 2019, in exchange for Dante Exum and a selection from the second round of the draft in 22 (owned by Spurs) and 23 (owned by Warriors), he not only returned and player unlike anything they had recently, but also a personality unlike anything they’ve experienced.

When asked what he would say if he had to write a biographical slogan about himself, he replied: “‘He’s different. He’s really different. “In my Tyler, the voice of the Creator.”

His affinity with this particular iconoclastic hip-hop star makes a lot of sense. Because yes, JC Yippee bit differently. But that’s probably what is expected of aliens.

The thing is, the missile profile discussion vs. Assisted by sums aside, a Clarkson person (or alien or anything else) is seemingly loved by all. Who – besides the one drunk guy in San Antonio – doesn’t like him?

And how will this happen? What exactly is in the heart of the guru of the Good Vibes tribe, what makes him so different? So universally adored?

The “guru” thing was meant recklessly right now, but when you sit down with JC and listen to him talk about the basic forces that have shaped his sense of self, you realize that it’s actually quite appropriate.

“Yeah, I’ve always been cold or something.” I don’t know, I just kind of figured out how I grew up, just kind of understanding … everything – understanding myself, understanding other people, “he said. “I’m just trying to bring light, a light atmosphere or whatever, a sense of freedom, a free mind and a spirit – whatever it is – into whatever I’m involved in.”

Guru… new age hippie… self-help shaman… anything.

They all look believable. Then again, maybe it’s just the personification of yin and yang.

It’s really impressive how interchangeable he can switch between being different from everyone, and in another he says, “I’m no different than anyone else, I’m the same as anyone else.”

Or how he can lament, on the one hand, how we “always fear for ourselves and what we look like” and, on the other hand, explain later, without a trace of irony, how it’s not just ambassador brand for active clothing brand Lululemon, not only a devotee of the famous streetwear designer Don C, not only “phoning all day, just browsing different websites and looking for clothes and browsing the sites of various designers, seeing what they came up with”, but now actively draws his own future fashion lines because: I like clothes, dot – art [of them]. I’m not really just buying clothes, I’m buying pieces now. A lot of that clothes are art and we have to praise the artists. “

The Jordan Clarkson Experience turned out to be a bit of a roller coaster – to the extent that teammate Joe Ingles actually legitimately (jokingly) advocated ticket sales or something.

“Damn dude.” If you could ever have a weekend with JC… ”the Australian begins and falls silent before inspiration strikes. “It should be auctioned! Let’s auction a weekend with JC and see what happens. “

The sound of silence

Clarkson, informed of this business proposal, tilts his head back and laughs for a few long seconds.

Still, let’s not dismiss it as a joke. What I would happens in such a scenario, JC?

And so does Clarkson’s duality.

“It would depend on what.” [specific] he has to talk to me at the weekend! ”he begins. “If it was a weekend in Vegas – or it could be a weekend I don’t talk at all – like, I’m just doing my monk’s thing, just listening and receiving the frequencies and energies of the world. . “

Excuse me, say what now?

“Vegas JC,” he explains, is about “just having fun, going out – you can meet me at the bar, the dive bar, the beach, maybe I’m just drinking, chilling, and having a beer from the cooler. That’s my way of having fun. Just talk and have great conversations. Dude, I’m trying to give you a good time. “

But then …

“Then there’s another where I don’t say a word,” Clarkson adds. “Like days when I don’t say a word.” It’s hard, but it’s amazing. “

Yes, Jordan Clarkson claims that he literally sometimes goes days – plural – without even talking, just to see if he can. Probably during the offseason, because absolute silence would be bad for communication in defense.

(Francisco Kjolseth | The Salt Lake Tribune) Utah Jazz Ranger Jordan Clarkson (00) celebrates a NBA spot hit between the Utah Jazz and LA Clippers at the Vivint Smart Home Arena in Salt Lake City, Wednesday, December 15, 2021.

He said it started as a lark, a small individual challenge – could it last only 15 or 30 minutes without speaking? Could. Then he extended to two hours, then another, and finally the whole day, when he just said nothing.

Then he says again that he’s more listening anyway:

“I think it’s great and interesting to hear what people think is great and interesting. That’s just the way I am. “

Being perceived as a happy, smiling person is okay, he adds, but at the same time taking time to get people interested in what people are saying is a means of developing strong bonds with them. that After all, it’s a big part of why he’s a happy smiley.

This was almost always the case with him.

“I can always adapt to my environment or what is around me [because] “I understand people,” Clarkson said. “Growing up, I had many different types of friends in the many different circles I was part of, and I met people. I feel like that’s one of the reasons I’m who I am. “

‘Every day is an atmosphere’

There are a lot of reasons why Clarkson is the way he is – that’s true for everyone, isn’t it? – but looking at the speeches is much more fun in his case than looking at the causes.

For example…

Less than two weeks after the exchange, JC did one of his first interviews with a Utah beat writer after the Orlando shootout, and when asked what he had learned about his new teammates, he watched Ingles sit next to him. and at that very moment he replied, “Uh, Joe’s.” [an] hole.”

When one of the Jazz PR employees who became Zoom moderator asked if he could hear her well, he first replied, “Yeah,” and three seconds later interrupted, “Shit, I should have hit her with a ‘No.’ “And he chuckled uncontrollably.

Last fall, he was hit by a television news reporter talking to a man on the street about jazz, and when she realized that she had forgotten the fact that he was a jazz player, he just went with it and answered her questions, spelled out his name for chyron and everything.

After a match in Washington, D.C., this December, Clarkson entered the interrogation room in sunglasses and drank a beer, then sat down at a table, looked at the laptop he was using to broadcast the media, and grabbed him in the middle. he asked, using it as a mirror to check that his clothes and hair were in place, then he showed a sign of peace and asked, “Vulture, everyone?” to the camera before focusing on the query.

He appeared in the media Japanese samurai style hairstyle with knot; or wearing seven types of flannel sewn togetherplus a personalized cap with the acronym LTFF (“Let It Fly”); or accompanied by an oversized crochet handbag.

Because why not?

Each of the aforementioned team members who asked him couldn’t help but smile on their faces as “JC” and “personality” were spoken close to each other.

“Every day is just an atmosphere. You know what you’re getting into, you know what kind of guy you get every day, “said Donovan Mitchell. “This level of consistency has helped him be who he is.” You know what you’re getting into. He’s a great teammate, but at the core he’s a great person. That’s what we see on it. It doesn’t matter if he hits, misses the blows, he’s a guy who’s always energetic, always there, just kidding and funny. “

Bojan Bogdanovic agreed, saying that Clarkson was “always in a great mood – he sings, dances, whatever” and as a result “you are in a better mood. [by being around him]. “

However, Trent Forrest, a sophomore, focused on the more contemplative side of his fellow guard, noting that despite Clarkson’s lush and motionless reputation, he actually considered him a quiet, restrained species, at least until he approached him. Forrest said he enjoys everything “from his dripping – how he dresses off the court,” he explains unnecessarily, to the stories “how he was when he was with Kob, with LeBron.”

Mike Conley and Rudy Gobert focused on Clarkson’s multifaceted nature:

“He’s a super cool guy, but he has such a fire in him,” Conley said. “He almost has the atmosphere of a rock star, when he does what he wants, when he wants to, and you can’t tell him anything.”

“I just think he’s the only one of his kind, in a good way.” He is very much himself, “added Gobert. “He’s very … I wouldn’t say open, but he’s free.” He had seen a lot in his life. I love being near him. He’s a funny guy to be around. He is cold and at the same time has a bit of a wild side. “

Even coach Quin Snyder likes to discuss him, calling him “authentic” and “brave,” but he also points out that Clarkson’s magnetic strength of personality evokes leadership qualities that a high-volume, low-pity shooter may not even realize exists: The other day I let him down – if you pulled him out of the card game, what would happen to the card game? It has such an effect on our team. “

Ingles has a lot of stories in the meantime.

After Clarkson’s exchange to Jazz, Aussie got clear about his new teammate from compatriot Andrew Bogut, who spent 24 games in the 2017-18 season on the same Lakers roster as Clarkson, and gave him a “good guy” rating. Ingles also loves retelling the story of the first conversation he ever had with Clarkson: Which is exactly him on the court. “

As for things off the court: “It’s just him. Having fun. It’s hard for you to find someone who enjoys their life every day more than what JC does, “Ingles said. “I’m not saying he does these crazy, wild things out there, but he enjoys and enjoys it and lives to the fullest every day.”

Bogdanovic brought it all home: “He brings us all to his world.”

Bogey probably meant it figuratively rather than literally. But who can say for sure?

Clarkson, who has long since sunk his walls, cannot resist doubling.

“[There are] “different versions of me and I have a feeling that these guys will see them all,” he said. “They are very blessed to come to my planet someday.”


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *