AN online campaign has started for Fil-Am Jordan Clarkson be allowed to play for the Philippine team in the 18th Asian Games in Indonesia.
The eligibility of Clarkson is being discussed in a meeting of the Indonesia Asian Games Organizing Committee (INASGOC) on Friday afternoon, while clearance from the NBA is pending because of his live contract with the Cleveland Cavaliers.
But as the Samahang Basketbol ng Pilipinas (SBP) awaits the decision, a #LetJordanPlay campaign has been spread on social media.
There was only one case of an NBA player with a live contract who suited up in the Asiad. China's Batere Mengke saw action during the 2002 Busan Asiad and was traded not just once but twice - by the Denver Nuggets to the Detroit Pistons, and later by the Pistons to the San Antonio Spurs - in the course of the tournament.
Clarkson is a different case.
Clarkson is among the league’s potential stars, who played alongside LeBron James and the Cavaliers during the last NBA Finals against the Golden State Warriors.
He was an All-Rookie First Team in 2015 while suiting up for the Los Angeles Lakers, before becoming part of the celebrated trade – that included Larry Nance Jr – between the Lakers and the Cavs that brought Isaiah Thomas, Channing Frye, and a 2018 first round draft pick to Hollywood.
The 6-foot-5 guard has visited the country a number of times in the past, including a trip to his grandmother’s province in Pampanga, and has expressed his desire to play for the national team.
The result on the eligibility rules meeting is reportedly the reason why coach Yeng Guiao deferred naming his final 12-man team for Friday instead of Thursday night as earlier planned.
Guiao already bared the 10 players who are shoo-ins for the team, with the remaining two being contested amongst Don Trollano, veteran Asi Taulava, cadet Ricci Rivero, and yes, Clarkson.