Jordan Clarkson‘s mother, Annette Davis, is Filipino. That means that the basketball-crazy Philippines can claim the young Laker guard as their own — legally in the eyes of FIBA. This isn’t like naturalizing Andray Blatche, Clarkson can step right in and play as a son of the Philippines.
Except he’s not expected to for FIBA Asia, the Olympic qualifying event that starts at the end of September. The main problem from the Lakers and Clarkson’s perspective is the tournament overlaps with the start of Lakers’ training camp. Still, officials from the Philippines are trying to convince the Lakers to change their mind, reports Philstar.com.
“It’s still a work in progress but with better clarity,” said SBP vice chairman Ricky Vargas after a meeting with Los Angeles Lakers team president Jeanie Buss and general manager Mitch Kupchak in LA….
“They requested some time to talk to the Lakers coaches,” said Vargas.
The Lakers open training camp in Hawaii Sept. 29. The semi-finals of FIBA Asia is Oct. 1, the finals Oct. 3 — and the Philippines made the finals of the last such event. Playing likely means Clarkson misses at least the first three and maybe first five or six days of training camp. Good luck selling Byron Scott on that idea.
One other reason Clarkson may not play — money. The second round pick is set to make “just” $845,059 this season, which is pennies in NBA dollars. However, he will get a new contract extension next summer, one that is going to pay him a whole lot more that what he’s making now. While injuries can happen anywhere at any time, would Clarkson take the risk this fall?
The Philippines has until Sept. 8 (Tuesday) to submit their final roster for the tournament. We’ll know a definitive answer by then. Although, I think we already know it.