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A More Focused and Mature Jordan Clarkson Discusses Changes He’s Made to His Diet and Workouts
- Updated: October 9, 2018
Cleveland Cavaliers guard Jordan Clarkson is expected to serve as an offensive spark off the bench this season. Some of the ways that Clarkson is hoping to deliver on that is by improved care of his body and greater attention to his diet, steps which he undertook this past offseason.
Chris Fedor of Cleveland.com spoke with Clarkson about the changes he made, which followed a miserable postseason performance in which he averaged just 4.7 points per game after delivering a 12.6 average in 28 games in the regular season.
“I took the challenge and I’m still on it now,” Clarkson said of the diet. “Just helps me wake up in the morning. I feel good, I feel refreshed and then it helped my body as well, cutting some body fat down. Just getting ready for the year. This is probably the best I’ve felt since I’ve been in the league.”
That diet included eliminating things like sugar and fast food, while also only drinking wine when it comes to alcohol. The process was aided by Clarkson using a strength and conditioning trainer that other NBA players have employed
“This is just me, 26 years old, this is my fifth year in the league and I’ve just got to do something different,” Clarkson said. “I felt like I was doing the same thing. I really had to look myself in the mirror and really take it into account to really get better and change stuff.”
Regarding his playoff miseries, Clarkson’s personality is such that whether he has a great or terrible performance, he tries to maintain the same disposition.
“It’s all learning for me. I don’t really get too high or too low, I’m pretty even-keeled,” he said. “I look at all my experiences as what it’s supposed to be. It’s my life, take one step at a time. If I fall down, I’ve got to get right back up.”
Cavs head coach Tyronn Lue believes that Clarkson can be an asset in the season ahead, having worked in Las Vegas during the offseason with Clarkson over the course of a week. Clarkson indicated that a lot of the work dealt with fundamentals and also issues he had problems with last season.
“A lot of it was pick-and-roll stuff, creating space,” Clarkson said when asked about the focus of those workouts. “We worked on a lot of passing drills. I know that sounds kind of crazy, but we did a lot of passing drills, ball-handling and stuff like that.”
“Just making those reads off those pick-and-rolls, getting the ball out of my hands and learning how to make those passes out of those situations. I really ain’t never been taught that. Just being able to sit down and kind of pick it all apart, it was good for me.”
Having gotten stronger, Clarkson is confident that he’ll be able to withstand the constant punishment delivered in those pick-and-rolls. He’s also looking to wipe away that playoff debacle and silence his detractors.
“Had a lot of motivation,” Clarkson said. “But I’m understanding on how it is. I felt like I played a lesser role during the playoffs. A lot of it comes with what it is, during that time I wasn’t making shots and stuff like that. It’s part of the game. You’re going to take your ups and downs.
“I’m here trying to prove people wrong. I feel like people are going to judge me from one playoff series when I didn’t really play much or get much time in and it was an all new experience for me. I’m coming back ready to go, my head down ready to attack it.”
Clarkson arrived last February in a trade with the Los Angeles Lakers and delivered a strong first outing. He’s looking forward to making that a regular happening when he takes the court this season.