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Former Clippers’ guard Jamal Crawford on his immediate reaction to trade from LA

Veteran shooting guard Jamal Crawford played five of his 18 incredibly entertaining NBA seasons with the LA Clippers, and was part of the most successful run in the franchise’s history. From 2012 to 2017, the Clippers enjoyed 50+ win seasons and playoff appearances, something that was hard to come by beforehand. And when it came to Crawford, the guard won two of his league-leading three Sixth Man of the Year awards right here in Los Angeles during the 2013-14 and 2015-16 seasons.

Unfortunately, his run with the team came to an abrupt end when they opted to trade him as part of a deal to bring former Denver Nuggets’ forward Danilo Gallinari to Los Angeles. While everyone knows the NBA is a business, the deal to send away one of the team’s most loyal and fan-favorite stars wasn’t easy.

Upon his return to Los Angeles where he spent the most time with a single team in the NBA, Crawford detailed his reaction to being traded and what the city as well as the fanbase meant to him.

‘I know it’s a business, but to fall in love with something, you have to be vulnerable. I fell in love with the city and the fans here, so I was vulnerable. I guess the shock of the trade hurt that much more. I really gave everything.’

Crawford participated in 370 games with the Clippers, the most of any team he’s played for, averaging 15.3 points, 1.8 rebounds, 2.6 assists and 1.8 three-pointers per game. He shot 41.4 percent from the field, 35.4 percent from geyond the arc, and 86.2 percent from the free throw line. During his five years in LA, Crawford won two of his three Sixth Man of the Year awards, led the team in fourth quarter scoring at 5.2 points per game, and finished with the fifth most wins in franchise history with 244 victories.

jamal crawford

Leon Halip/USA TODAY Sports

“It was tough to say goodbye. It was shocking. I was just here on that Friday trying to help get Blake [Griffin] back. And then Monday, I’m traded. That part was definitely shocking. I was in shock for a while, for a few days.

“It’s just unbelievable because you’ve seen these people every day for five years. You’ve watched them grow, you know their names, you know some of their family members, and seeing them… It’s just weird. Seeing them once or twice a year now. You really appreciate and hold onto it. Some of those relationships will last a lifetime.”

Crawford is one of arguably five Clippers who helped elevate the team into playoff and championship relevance despite falling short every time due to some unforeseen bad luck. Despite that, his lasting impact on players, coaches, fans, and the organization is something that isn’t overlooked. When asked about the possibility of being the first Clippers’ player to have his jersey retired with the franchise, Crawford took a humble approach.

“No no, not the first,” said Crawford. “Not the first, but that would be cool, absolutely. I don’t even think we have one. I think that would really establish this as somewhere that was a home for me in the NBA. Who knows if I play in another place that long and have that success I had individually and as a group. That would be really really cool.”

Notice that when talking about the possibility of his jersey retirement, he referred to the Clippers as ‘we’ despite having been traded months ago. It seems like no matter where he’ll go, Crawford will always be a Clipper at heart.