Isiah Thomas talks NBA career, Jamal Crawford & more with Brandon ‘Scoop B’ Robinson on the Scoop B Radio Podcast. Press Play Below To Listen!
Can you believe that Jamal Crawford is still an NBA free agent?
Crawford opted out of the second year of his two-year contract with that he signed with the Minnesota Timberwolves last summer. The problem that lies, however is that the Wolves need him as much as he may need the Wolves.
Veteran leadership, scoring genius; heading into his 19th season and at 38 years old, Crawford can still provide you that. It was just last summer that the NBA’s reigning world champion, Golden State Warriors were ringing his doorbell alongside the Philadelphia 76ers for his services.
Both teams love the long ball and WELL…homeboy shoots it!
Drafted out of Michigan in the 2000 NBA Draft, Crawford is revered for his smooth ball handling ability and crafty scoring. That combo has won him three NBA Sixth Man of The Year awards.
One guy who remembers J-Crossover’s talent is the man who traded for him, NBA Hall of Famer Isiah Thomas. Thomas, once the Knicks’ President and head coach, had a keen eye on the Rainier Beach High School product. “I had followed Jamal since he came from Seattle to Michigan,” Thomas told me by phone on a recent episode of the Scoop B Radio podcast.
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“I thought: a 6’6” guy with handles.”
Crawford’s best statistical season came during the 2007-08 NBA season while with the Knicks. He averaged 20 points and 5 assists in 80 games for the orange and blue. “His body was just, his game was ahead of his body, if that makes sense; like the things he was trying to do out on the floor,” said Thomas.
“He was seeing the right things to do. You knew he was mature. And over the last couple of years, once his body caught up with his game, I mean, he’s been swinging points whenever he wants to.”
At one time, the Knicks had a roster that included Crawford, Stephon Marbury, Zach Randolph, David Lee, Wilson Chandler, Nate Robinson, Channing Frye, Steve Francis and Trevor Ariza. That’s a few championship rings, NBA All Star appearances and Slam Dunk Contest trophies attached to those names.
Unfortunately, the formula didn’t work out. But imagine if that Knicks team had stayed together. “They were all under the age of 27,” said Thomas.
And that was a young team. Had they been able to stay together and flourish, that would’ve been a pretty good team in the East.”
As for Crawford, The Ringer ranked him third in the top six remaining free agent in the NBA. The Ringer also says that Crawford should still be good to average double-digit points — he hasn’t averaged fewer than 10 since his sophomore season, in 2001–02 .
Brandon ‘Scoop B’ Robinson is the host of the Scoop B Radio Podcast. A senior writer at Basketball Society, he’s had stops as a staff writer at The Source Magazine, as a columnist and podcast host at CBS and as an editor at RESPECT. Magazine. In his downtime, he enjoys traveling, swimming and finding new sushi restaurants.