In his hometown of Seattle, Jamal Crawford is something of a folk hero. And there’s a good reason for that. Not only is he one of the most exciting players in the NBA, he’s also a pillar of his community. Last year in this space, we chronicled the birth and evolution of the Seattle Pro-Am, and how Crawford has worked tirelessly to bring basketball back to a city that was left reeling after the Sonics skipped town for Oklahoma City amid a nasty legal imbroglio over funding for a new arena (an eerily similar situation Milwaukee Bucks fans found themselves in this summer).
This weekend, DIME made our second trip to the Pro-Am and had chance to sit down with the two-time NBA Sixth Man of the Year for a wide-ranging conversation that spanned the DeAndre Jordan free-agency extravaganza, that epic first-round series against the Spurs this spring, trade rumors, when (if ever) he might retire, and much more.
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Dime: Can you talk a little bit about that first-round series against the Spurs? Was that by far the best playoff series you’ve ever been a part of?
Jamal Crawford: Yeah, for sure. I think the Spurs are the best team I’ve ever played against, in all my years in the NBA. So disciplined. You make a mistake, they’re gonna make you pay. And they force you into mistakes, as well. They’re well-coached, obviously. Pop is the best. They keep everybody on guard. Your man may not shoot for two quarters, and then they run a play for him out of a timeout.
Pop is kinda notorious for that. I remember covering them against the Blazers in the postseason last year, and during the first half, everyone in the rotation had scored except for Danny Green. Then the very first play they run at the start of the third quarter was for Danny Green. You can tell that’s by design.