Jamal Crawford scored 51 points in his final game with the Phoenix Suns in April 2019, waited more than a year for his next N.B.A. opportunity, then, after turning 40 in March, appeared in only one game in the N.B.A. bubble with the Nets because of a hamstring injury. “I have no regrets at all,” Crawford said Monday night after returning to his home in the Seattle area.
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Crawford made it clear he “would love to play again next season.” Kevin Durant strongly suggested in a recent interview that he would relish seeing Crawford return to the Nets in 2020-21. “With a whole, healthy roster,” Crawford said, “anyone would love that opportunity.”
Marc Stein: Nets guard Jamal Crawford tells @NYTSports he indeed hopes to play again next season at age 41 … with more from @Jamal Crawford and further chatter from inside the NBA Bubble forthcoming in the latest @nytimes On Basketball newsletter bound for inboxes worldwide later today …
Jamal Crawford has not thought yet whether he will play for another season or will retire from professional basketball. Crawford signed with the Brooklyn Nets and will play in the restart of the season in Orlando, Forida. “Because last year I definitely showed I could still play. I know I’m going to get a contract offer. I knew it! I’m like I just won Teammate of the Year. I just showed I could still score. I can still do things at a high level.
Do you have a timetable? Like when you say, ‘I’m done’. Jamal Crawford: I don’t know if I have a timetable but I would think for me, it would probably be at some point next season. Like it may not be the beginning of next season, maybe a team that fighting for the playoffs later on in the season. And at that point, probably if it doesn’t happen, I would probably say, ‘Okay, that’s it’.
Crawford never retired from the game. He just didn’t get on a roster this season. But could he sign with a team if the NBA comes back? “I think so,” said Crawford, who still lives in Seattle. “But if not, I’ll be playing at LA Fitness somewhere, and I’ll have more time to spend with my family.”
Gerald Bourguet: Jamal Crawford said he’s not done and can still play in this league. Confirms the 🏁 was for Nipsey Hussle
At 39, Crawford is still capable of those get-buckets moments. And though he acknowledges his 19th NBA season has not been what “we all envisioned coming into it” — the Suns are 18-60, after all — Crawford remains adamant that he is not contemplating retirement. “Oh, no,” Crawford told The Athletic following Monday’s shootaround. “That’s the part I hate — the perception because of how things went this year. You may look at the numbers and (see) I’m only taking six shots a game. I think it’s to be applauded (for me to) say, ‘Hey, when I go in, I’m not going to jack up every shot.’
As you mentioned, you’re not young anymore. What do you think has kept you in the league at this point in your career? Jamal Crawford: Love of the game. When you love it, you’ll do anything to play. You’ll foam roll. You’ll (sit in the) cold tub. You’ll stretch. You’ll get massages. You’ll stay in and stay active. You’ll change your diet. You’ll do everything it takes to be out there and try to be at a high level.
Two decades later the 6’5″ Crawford still doesn’t play like anybody else, nor does anyone really play like him. He skips as much as runs, his dribble nearing chest height, where coaches teach you not to keep it. When he crosses over, he does so precipitously and with devastating speed. From afar he appears to be all limbs upon which a giant round head bobs, as if the character from those life is good T-shirts came to life. “Damn, you got a lot of juice left in those legs!” Dirk Nowitzki told him last season, and it’s true. He remains in demand. When Crawford became a free agent last summer, the Warriors recruited him. LeBron called: Come to Cleveland. Instead Crawford signed for two years and $8.9 million with Minnesota, a promising team that nonetheless hasn’t made the playoffs since 2004 and whose coach, Tom Thibodeau, is known to be something of a stickler for defense (something that Crawford, it’s fair to say, is not). The match didn’t seem to make a lot of sense.
Towns was 4 years old when Crawford played his first NBA game. That’s 17 years and 1,251 regular-season and playoff games ago, and Crawford vows he’s not nearly done yet. “I feel like 27,” Crawford said. “I feel great, I really do. I take care of myself. I never really get out of shape. I feel I can play another four, five years at this level without a doubt. I feel rejuvenated.”
Crawford will turn 37 in two weeks. But get this: The ageless wonder said he wants to play three or four more seasons. “When you love the game, playing is easy,” Crawford said.
“I don’t see him in the weight room,” Clippers coach Doc Rivers joked. “He plays pickup basketball the entire summer every day. That’s all he does. He’s like the anti-new generation. He just plays basketball. And he looks younger at times because he does. He keeps his skills so sharp by playing and the love of the game.”
“@iam_almighty_: Wanna meet @JCrossover before he retires”–you got 5 years
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June 12, 2021 | 12:41 am EDT Update
Any potential free agency list should start with Indiana’s T.J. McConnell and Los Angeles pest Alex Caruso. Both are Cavs targets. Both fit really well. Some prefer Caruso. He’s younger, bigger, stronger and can guard multiple spots. Others like McConnell more. Even though he doesn’t shoot many 3s, he’s more polished, capable of filling in as starter, puts pressure on the rim and was the league’s total steals leader.
The Cavs might also be looking for another center. Isaiah Hartenstein, who arrived in the JaVale McGee deal with Denver, has a player option. Sources expect him to exercise that and become a free agent. Hartenstein, who made the minimum this past season, likes it in Cleveland. But he boosted his value over the final few months and opting in would make him underpaid at $1.7 million. Hartenstein’s preference, according to sources, is to renegotiate a more lucrative long-term deal, staying with the Cavs as Allen’s backup.
Jeremy Lin: No regrets about the past, excited for the future. Still got a lot of basketball left in me and we’ll see where this road goes. Beijing Ducks, excited to be back! Thank you all for going on this journey with me #NeverDone
StatMuse: Nikola Jokic gave it his all. 32 PTS 20 REB 10 AST He joins Kareem Abdul-Jabbar and Wilt Chamberlain as the only players in NBA history with a 30/20/10 playoff game. pic.twitter.com/e2bSnolFOj