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by: Kris Gardner, United States Basketball Writers Association member. Credentialed media member since 1997. USBWA approved online journalist. Voter of Katrina McClain, Naismith, USBWA, and Wooden awards.

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Mike D'Antoni: "Gary Clark is a player."

Posted: November 11, 2018 -- 11:44 p.m.

After the Houston Rockets' 115-103 win over the Indiana Pacers, during his postgame press conference, Rockets Head Coach Mike D'Antoni was asked to comment on undrafted rookie forward Gary Clark.

D'Antoni answered very matter-of-fact: "Gary Clark's a player. He’s a player. His defense, his rebounding, smart, right position, shoots the ball, I mean, he’s a player."

I spoke with Gary and mentioned to him what Coach D'Antoni said about him.

Gary appreciated D'Antoni's words: "It's pretty cool. Coach is always showing me some love. But, that's what I do. I'm a player. People say it's ugly.

"People have a lot of questions: 'why is this kid on the court?' and so forth. But, when it comes down to winning, I do the things that a team needs. I don't always score. I will never complain about scoring or shots; but, you'll see me getting steals, rebounds, blocking shots Getting other guys opportunities to score. All I'm about is winning."

In 32 minutes and 56 seconds tonight against the Pacers, Gary Clark had a career-high 8 rebounds to go along with a steal and a block. The last Rockets rookie to post those numbers in a game was Tarik Black vs. the L.A. Clippers on November 28, 2014. Clark is averaging 5.4 rebounds over the past five games after recording a total of 8 boards his first six games played. He also has 6 steals with just one turnover this season.

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