DENVER, CO – The 2023 NBA Finals feature two teams, the Denver Nuggets and the Miami Heat, taking drastically different paths to the championship round. Former Los Angeles Clippers center DeAndre Jordan is hoping the NBA Championship will finally be his after eluding it for several seasons.
Jordan has played 15 seasons in the NBA and has had several interrupted postseasons just when his teams appeared to be serious championship contenders. After coming up short with the LA Clippers and Brooklyn Nets, Jordan takes none of this NBA Finals experience for granted.
“It’s surreal and exciting,” Jordan told ClutchPoints in an exclusive interview on Saturday. “It is humbling to be in this position. I’ve had situations where I was like, ‘hey, this is the year, this is the year. We just got a bit unlucky, be it injury or whatever, and ended up coming up short.
“But only now to be able to be in the standings of the last two teams and fight for a trophy. It’s an incredible feeling. And after winning Game 1, you feel even better, but we’re not satisfied. We will be satisfied once we win three more games. It’s going to be a battle, it’s going to be tough, but it’s the Finals. It’s supposed to be.
Jordan played sparingly for the Nuggets this 2022-23 season, but he has taken a very serious and respected role as a veteran and leader in the locker room. In a recent story penned by Denver Nuggets beat writer Mike Singer, it was increasingly made out that DeAndre Jordan and Jeff Green had become locker room staples and guys who had gotten superstar Nikola Jokic to open up. even more.
“Nikola has a voice that walks the talk,” DeAndre Jordan told the Denver Post. “I always compare him to a guy like Tim Duncan. He really doesn’t want to ruffle feathers or use his superstar status.”
Over the past few weeks, Clippers fans have been incredibly supportive of both Reggie Jackson and DeAndre Jordan. Both players played important roles in their respective teams’ successes with the Clippers, and fans loved both for their fun personalities and hard-working attitudes.
When told that there were several Clippers fans rooting for the Nuggets for Reggie Jackson and himself, a grin spread across DeAndre Jordan’s face.
“Ahh, that’s great, I love it,” Jordan said. “I have nothing but love for the Clippers man. He was my home for the first 10 years of my career. I have many relationships, I have done many good things in the organization there, and the community is one that I love and still call home. I would love to win a championship for sure and I appreciate all the support you continue to give me.
Jordan played his first 10 seasons with the Clippers after being drafted 35th overall in the 2007 NBA Draft. He played sparingly in his first two seasons, but really broke through in his third season. He would become an NBA All-Star in the 2016-17 season, in which he averaged 12.7 points, 13.8 rebounds, 1.2 assists and 1.7 blocks per game for the Clippers.
DeAndre Jordan’s best chances at an NBA Championship probably came in 2015, when the Clippers blew a 3-1 lead to the Houston Rockets, and in 2021, when the Brooklyn Nets nearly beat the Milwaukee Bucks to advance to the NBA Championship. Eastern Conference Finals. In fact, if Durant’s shoe were one size smaller, the Nets would likely win that round and reach the NBA Finals. In both the Clippers’ and Nets’ playoff runs, injuries played a big part in the team’s downfall.
Despite the shortcomings, his 10 years in Los Angeles taught an inexperienced 20-year-old Jordan how to play the game right away and develop the skills necessary to make him a two-time All-Defensive team member, three-time All-Star All-NBA team and two-time rebounding champion.
“Obviously, with teams with Chris, Blake and myself, those are the moments where I feel like we all started to excel and our games got better. We study the games, we work harder on and off the pitch to be successful. The times with those guys were just amazing.”
With one win down and three more to go, DeAndre Jordan expressed his gratitude to Clippers fans once again.
“Thank you guys so much for the continued support. I always had a love for Clipper Nation. Thanks guys.”