A frustrated Jordan Clarkson took matters into his own hands on Thursday night, making sure a celebratory Philadelphia 76ers team knew he wasn’t having them showing up the Cavs on their home floor.
A series of late-game incidents featured the Sixers showboating a bit, and the new Cavaliers player wasn’t a big fan. After a needless dunk late in the Sixers win, Clarkson threw a dead ball into Saric’s back, causing a bit of an on-court confrontation between he, Saric, Joel Embiid and LeBron James.
The TNT broadcast characterized the incident as a bit manufactured, but Clarkson defended himself after the game, saying people implying they would have acted otherwise are “lying.”
“Part of the game. If anybody say different, or say they would have done something different, they lying,” Clarkson said. “Especially dudes that played the game. They know what’s up. That’s it.”
Clarkson was asked if he retaliated because of the mean mugging Saric did after a made three earlier in the game, but he said he didn’t even know that happened. That would indicate that Clarkson’s throw was just about the dunk and not part of anything else.
Things don’t seem all that tense between the Cavs and Sixers otherwise. Embiid was jovial on social media afterward, and James was complimentary of both Embiid and Ben Simmons despite the rookie inbounding a ball off the back of Rodney Hood for a dunk late. But Clarkson felt it was important to send a message to Saric and make it clear he’s not willing to stand by and watch that kind of chicanery. Good for him, I guess.