Jamal Crawford is officially a member of the Brooklyn Nets, is already at Walt Disney World in Orlando, Florida and ready to start his journey with the seventh place Brooklyn Nets. “I’m so excited about that,” Jamal Crawford tells me early Friday morning on the Scoop B Radio Podcast.
“Things happened kind of fast. I mean, we had dialogue with them just like we had every team throughout the course of the year, but nothing translated at that time. Maybe it wasn’t the right time. But then, with everything happening now, different things kinda happened fast. It accelerated really, really fast and it worked out.”
The Nets are without Kyrie Irving, Kevin Durant, Spencer Dinwiddie, DeAndre Jordan, Wilson Chander, Taurean Prince, Nic Claxton at the restart in Orlando either due to injury or COVID-19 positive tests. Crawford has already done his homework on the roster who will participate in the restart. “I know that they’re young, they’re exciting, they’re a team that has that obviously but their vets, not all of them are playing down here in Orlando,” he said.
“But, they’re intruiging from the standpoint that they’re gonna be fun; now we’re going to be fun. I’m part of the team; we’re going to be fun now. Obviously everybody’s pumped for next year, the future, the groundwork is already in place.”
Crawford is a Michigan alum just like Nets star Caris LeVert. He’s excited to represent maize and blue on the court in Orlando with LeVert. “I love it,” Crawford tells Scoop B Radio. “I love his game, always have loved his game.
“I thought that he would’ve been an All-Star the year he got hurt to be honest with you. But he was playing lights out. He’s so humble, he has so much ability, you know and he loves the game, he’s a student of the game, he always wants to get better. With that humility and that love and that drive he has for the game, he’s one of the greats in the game for a long time.”
Crawford said his mindset with Brooklyn is simple: “Keep pushingt toward the Playoffs,” he said. “I feel like our chances; a young healthy group full of energy. Obviously people on the outside aren’t expecting too much from us. And that’s cool. The game still has to be played. I’ll make sure to keep that in our minds and take it one game at a time. In this situation it kinda works in our favor, it’s kinda like an AAU game. We really get to lock in.”
Crawford says that he hasn’t spoken with Kyrie Irving or Kevin Durant since signing with the Nets. “No, I did not talk to either one yet,” he says. “Both of those guys are brother, so I’m sure we’ll talk in time. No doubt about it.”
A three-time NBA Sixth Man of the Year award recipient, Crawford hasn’t played in the NBA this season. The last time he stepped on the court, Crawford scored 51 points in his final game last season as a member of the Phoenix Suns.
For those keeping score at home: Last season, Crawford, 40 averaged 7.9 points per game. BUT in the last three games of last season, he scored 106 points.
Some NBA players have complaned about the food in Orlando. Crawford will not complain. “I’ve only had one meal to be honest with you,” he said. “It was good. I mean, Scoop I’ve been at home for a year. So I have nothing to complain about. I’m just happy to be here, I’m happy to have the opportunity and what they see fit for me, I’m all for it.”
Michael Beasley and Donta Hall were also signed by the Nets. Crawford says he excited for them as well. “I just look at them as players,” Crawford tells me. “Obviously Donta being a young big coming up and with great experience right now, a team that’s in the Playoffs, we have the opportunity to push that.”
“Beas, has always been one of the more talented guys in the league. You don’t need to run plays for him, get him the ball and he makes it happen. That’s the luxury of having a guy like that on the team; a guy that’s a dog, a guy who you could go to war with. We’ve always been playing, but we never played together, so for the immediate future, that’s still out in front.”
Crawford’s been wearing No. 11 for years. However, 11 is Kyrie Irving’s uniform number.
Million Dollar Question: What number will he wear? “I will be wearing number one,” he said proudly.
“I started wearing 1 because of Penny [Hardaway].”
Crawford also has no apprehensions on starting or coming off of the bench. “Whatever they want me to do, I’ll do,” he said.
When the Nets resume play on July 30, he will have played for both of New York City’s teams: the Nets and the New York Knicks.
Despite representing the borough of Brooklyn in Orlando, he’s proud. “I think the New York fans because of their energy,” Crawford tells Scoop B Radio.
“My two favorite places to play were the Knicks and the Clippers. I know what the New York fans are like and now I’m not actually in Brooklyn, I’m in Orlando representing Brooklyn, but that energy you’ll feel it.