If Charles Barkley were to pick the reserve players out of the Western Conference, he would select Jordan Clarkson over Anthony Davis.
On Thursday, the starters for the 2021 NBA All-Star Game were revealed. Los Angeles Lakers star LeBron James and Kevin Durant of the Brooklyn Nets will serve as team captains. But on Feb. 23, the reserves (voted in by NBA coaches) for the showcase will be announced.
During Inside the NBA, Charles Barkley, Kenny Smith, Shaquille O’Neal and Ernie Johnson each provided their picks for the reserve options for each team. When they got to the Western Conference, Barkley made a huge statement by selecting Utah Jazz guard Jordan Clarkson over Lakers forward Anthony Davis.
What was the reasoning behind this pick? Barkley believes that Clarkson has had a better year than Davis.
Smith debates Barkley over his decision
Besides Barkley saying that Clarkson is having a better year, he said getting selected for the NBA All-Star Game isn’t “a lifetime achievement award.” Smith debated Barkley, saying that he needs to compare Davis to the field, not to his own prior standards.
Barkley is not lying when saying Clarkson is having the best season of his career. Through 29 games this season, the Jazz guard is averaging 18.2 points (career-high), 4.1 rebounds and 2.1 assists per game, while shooting 45.3 percent from the field and 38.2 percent from the 3-point line. Those numbers are why Clarkson is considered the favorite to win the Sixth Man of the Year award at the season’s conclusion.
As for Davis, he is averaging 22.5 points, 8.4 rebounds, 3.0 assists and 1.8 blocks a night while posting a 53.3 field-goal percentage and 29.3 3-point percentage through 23 games. Now, Davis is out for 2-3 weeks due to a right calf strain.
While Clarkson is having a great season, it is unlikely he’ll actually crack the Western Conference reserve list. Either way, Clarkson learned on Thursday night that he has a huge fan in Barkley.