The NBA has officially named Utah Jazz guard Jordan Clarkson as the 2020-21 Sixth Man of the Year awardee.
As a finalist for the award with teammate Joe Ingles, the 28-year-old was surprised to learn that he had won the honor during an interview on TNT.
Jordan Clarkson averaged a career-high 18.4 points, 4.0 rebounds and 2.4 assists while coming off the bench for the Utah Jazz, who had the best record in the NBA this season at 52-20. He was the leading candidate for the Sixth Man of the Year award for most of the season.
The assists numbers and free-throw percentage (89.6%) were also career-bests for the seven-year veteran, who previously played for the LA Lakers and the Cleveland Cavaliers before signing with the Utah Jazz last season.
Jordan Clarkson made an NBA-best 203 three-point field goals as a reserve, which NBA.com says is the “fourth-most threes by a reserve in NBA history.”
Aside from Clarkson, Ingles and the New York Knicks’ Derrick Rose were the other Sixth Man of the Year candidates this season.
Ingles averaged 12.1 points, 3.6 rebounds and 4.7 assists per game for the Utah Jazz this season.
Rose, who was traded to the Knicks by the Detroit Pistons earlier this year, put up 14.7 points, 2.6 rebounds and 4.2 assists a night while mostly coming off the bench in his second go-round in New York.
Last year’s Sixth Man of the Year awardee, the LA Lakers’ Montrezl Harrell, wasn’t even a finalist this year despite averaging 13.5 points and 6.2 rebounds as a reserve center for the Purple and Gold. His stats notably dipped this season compared to the past two.
Jordan Clarkson is the first Utah Jazz player to win the Sixth Man of the Year award while leading all bench players in scoring.