Jordan Clarkson’s summer? No biggie, just a tour bus crash and Clarsksonmania abroad

The Utah Jazz guard was asked the team’s media day session Monday what his most unique experience of the past few months was, and he casually recounted how a bus driver’s illness nearly sent him off the roadway.

Utah Jazz guard Jordan Clarkson was asked Monday morning during the team’s media day session at Zions Bank Basketball Campus if he had any particularly unique experiences this offseason.

The perpetually chill Clarkson pondered the query for a moment, prefaced his response with the qualifier, “I don’t know if it was unique,” then proceeded to tell a story about a being in a bus crash in Germany.

Y’know, whatever.

Clarkson recounted accompanying his musician girlfriend Maggie Lindemann for about two weeks of her tour dates, and how things got unexpectedly dire in Deutschland.

“I’m sorry for the driver, but yeah, he got sick and almost passed out, and the bus swerved off the road on the highway,” Clarkson said.

“Everyone was fine, but the bus was sitting like this,” he added, holding up his hands to indicate the vehicle was partly hanging off the roadway.

After a couple quiet moments, one reporter asked the natural follow-up:

In what world is that not a unique experience?!

“I don’t know!” Clarkson conceded, laughing. “I just took it with a grain of salt.”

After the crash, which he deemed “kind of scary,” their group wound up hanging out at a gas station in Germany for about 14 hours or so until a new driver could be procured.

Once the tour resumed, Clarkson enjoyed being able to sit back and revel in the attention that Lindemann was getting.

“I mean, it was lit,” he said. “Just seeing those crowds and how they are, especially in different countries, it’s pretty fun. I had a really good time.”

Of course, he also got some experience along those lines playing for the Philippines, the host nation of the recently concluded FIBA World Cup.

(Aaron Favila | AP) Philippines guard Jordan Clarkson (6) reacts after scoring during their Basketball World Cup classification match against China at the Araneta Coliseum, Manila, Philippines on Saturday Sept. 2, 2023.

Clarkson is an immensely popular figure in the basketball-crazed country, and his every move was greeted with awe and adoration.

“It’s just something you really can’t describe, you’ve just got to be there to really see it and feel that energy,” he said. “I know everybody that came to play in Manila felt that, especially the NBA guys and guys from other countries. They were getting hounded as well. It was all love. The Philippines is a real big basketball place, so I think everybody felt when they were there.”

Though he lamented not being able to help his team win some more games, Clarkson said it was a fun experience getting to represent a country and play in some games.

Despite the World Cup results, though, Clarksonmania has been on the rise in the Philippines as his NBA career has progressed.

His sophomore season is when it first became apparent to him.

“Maybe, I think, my second year in the league. I got a chance to really go over there and spend some time, and it was pretty crazy then,” said Clarkson. “And now I’m who I am, and it’s just gotten really crazy.”

Far crazier than some meh, whatever tour bus crash in Germany, at any rate.