For years, Larry Nance Jr. and Jordan Clarkson served as teammates — be it with the Los Angeles Lakers or the Cleveland Cavaliers. Now, however, thanks to an in-season trade, Clarkson is a member of the Utah Jazz.
This makes Monday night’s Cavs-Jazz game a bit more interesting, as Nance and Clarkson will square off against one another for the first time.
Nance and Clarkson have developed a close relationship over the years, and it showed in their cohesiveness on the floor. Both were traded to Cleveland from Los Angeles as part of the same deal. With the Cavs, the two friends became a staple of the team’s bench unit.
Nance, who was often the recipient of Clarkson’s lobs, says he’s looking forward to Monday’s game:
“I’m just looking forward to it,” Larry Nance Jr. said of Monday night’s matchup against Clarkson and the Jazz, via cleveland.com. “Obviously I hated to see him go, that’s my guy. But I look forward to it. It’s going to be a lot of fun getting on the other side of things that were working for me the past five years. I’m excited to see him tonight and hopefully it will be a good battle.”
Despite their friendship, Nance isn’t afraid to dish out a bit of trash talk. In fact, he’s hoping to “put Clarkson in the rim” during Monday’s game:
“I hope he guards me so I can put him in the rim one time, give him a little ‘Too small, a little baby.’ I know he’ll do the same thing if he gives me an iso,” Nance said. “I’m just looking forward to the competition.”
Would Nance really dunk on his long-time friend if the opportunity presents itself? And would Clarkson return the favor? It seems we’ll have to stay tuned for an answer.
Nance and the Cavs have struggled to find a rhythm this season, as their 17-43 overall record suggests. J.B. Bickerstaff has taken the head coaching responsibilities for the team, as John Beilein decided to step down from the position. So far, Cleveland’s players have responded well to the coaching change.
Monday night’s Cavs-Jazz game is scheduled to tip inside Rocket Mortgage Fieldhouse at 7:00 p.m. ET. Cleveland will be looking to snap a two-game losing streak, while Utah has lost four of its last five.