Jamal Crawford explains why he wanted to retire a Clipper
Despite the massive roster shakedown that the L.A. Clippers were about to endure coming into this offseason, perennial sixth man Jamal Crawford had every intention not only remain a Clipper coming into this season, but also to retire as one someday.
“I spent five years with the Clippers,” Crawford told Alex Kennedy of HoopsHype in his podcast. “For me, in my 17-year career, that was the longest I had been in one place. I’ve played more games for the Clippers than I have for any other team in the NBA. So, for me, that was kind of home. When I re-signed there last summer, it was a three-year deal and I thought, ‘Okay, I can continue to further my career here and I plan on being here for all of those years.'”
“You start to think about really cool things like, ‘Well, if I’m with this team for eight or nine years and we have a lot of success, maybe my jersey could be hanging up there [retired]?’ I mean, like I said, this was my home. You start thinking of all those things and then, all of a sudden, things change in the blink of an eye and you’re dealing with things you didn’t see coming. You’re in shock, you’re angry, you’re upset, you’re hurt.”
Crawford ultimately opted for the Minnesota Timberwolves as soon as he became a free agent after agreeing to a buyout with the Atlanta Hawks, but the change of scenery was way more than meets the eye through the process.
“Also, you’re thinking of how you’ll have to explain this to your family,” Crawford explained. “You’re thinking of all the changes they’ll have to go through, with the kids having to leave their schools and all of the friends they’ve made. All of those things go into it too, it’s not just the basketball part.”
The spark plug off the bench is now looking forward to have the same impact in the Twin Cities, making the most of an unpredictable situation and trying to put his best foot forward during the last few years of his career.
“I can play basketball anywhere; I have the easy part, to be honest,” added Crawford. “But as your career progresses and your family comes into play, you’re thinking about how this impacts them first and foremost. It was an interesting [situation], but I feel like it worked out the best it could and I know I’m going to a great situation in Minnesota… I’m excited about the opportunity, excited about the team, excited about coach Tom Thibodeau and excited about future in Minnesota. I’m really, really looking forward to the season.”