Utah Jazz: A backstage look at Sixth Man of the Year surprise

Utah Jazz guard Jordan Clarkson (Photo by Ezra Shaw/Getty Images)
Utah Jazz guard Jordan Clarkson (Photo by Ezra Shaw/Getty Images) /

A memorable Utah Jazz moment is worth rewatching from every possible angle.

Utah Jazz worrywarts reached a season-high on Monday evening. At that time, Utahns were still less than 24 hours removed from wincing at the No. 1 seed’s 112-109 Game 1 home loss to the No. 8 seed Memphis Grizzlies. Meanwhile, nobody knew exactly what to make of the reported discord between Donovan Mitchell and the training staff over his Sunday no-go.

But thanks to the NBA on TNT, two jolly Jazzmen would soon pop up on TV screens. And after the ensuing surprise, it was as if a wave of positivity had crashed on Utah.

That surprise, of course, was the unadvertised-to-all-but-a-few announcement of the NBA Sixth Man of the Year Award, which went to Jordan Clarkson over fellow Jazz reserve Joe Ingles plus the third finalist in New York Knicks sensation Derrick Rose.

It marked the first such honor in franchise history.

For sure, a welcomed distraction for the Utah Jazz

There was more to it than just trophy-related amusement. Perhaps most responsible for lifting the spirits of Jazz Nation were the upbeat, humble on-air personalities of Ingles, who had been in on the surprise the entire day, and Clarkson, who was obviously 100 percent caught by surprise.

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Skip ahead to Thursday. The Jazzmen are coming off Wednesday’s in-sync 141-129 Game 2 home win, highlighted by the ultra-successful return of Mitchell from a 40-day sprained ankle recovery.

Taking note of the mood, the Jazz social media team opted to pour more good vibes on the fanbase by releasing the following behind-the-scenes video. It shows all the fun that transpired, both in the hours leading up to and the minutes following Monday’s makeshift Sixth Man of the Year ceremony:

Again, it felt in the moment like a symbol of an organization-wide attitude shift that was about to take place, from down in the dumps to up high on cloud nine.

Now, after watching the above All-Access Shorts production multiple times, high spirits have multiplied. Adding in the fact that the Memphis series is tied due to a total nine-man effort, which could end up going down in the Utah Jazz history books as the most critical first-round victory this century, it seems the Joe Ingles-Jordan Clarkson bond really did carry some deeper meaning.

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Play. Enjoy. Rewind. Repeat as necessary.