Is Jamal Crawford somehow getting younger and better?
When you say Vino in LA, everyone knows you are talking about Kobe Bryant, but does Kobe actually get better with age? No, but that’s understandable and would be impossible considering he was the best (or top 3) in the league for over a decade.
But there’s another guard in LA who does seem to get better with age: Jamal Crawford is in his 15th year and somehow this ankle and NBA record breaking Clipper is playing as good, if not better, now, then when he won either of his 6th man of the year awards. He might not be jumping the way he was when he was in Chicago but he hasn’t lost a step when it comes to showing off his handles and moves and a few Rockets from last night’s win for the Clippers can confirm that statement. Right Ariza?
In that win, Jamal Crawford came off the bench and scored 21 points on 7 of 12 shooting, dished out 3 assists and had 2 steals in just 30 minutes against the Rockets. If you ask Jamal, it’s not the 4 3-pointers, or another 4-point play which extends his untouchable record to 42, or his crossover on Ariza that he’s most proud of. It’s the 2 steals because Crawford has challenged himself to be a better defender this season and this one of the reasons why, like fine whine, he seems to get better with age.
“Early in my career, I had the mentality that I felt I could outscore anybody,” Crawford said. “Now, since I’ve come here and Doc’s come here, with this team and these coaches, I really take pride in defense.
“I’m more mad at myself than they are at me when I make a mistake, because they tell us exactly where to be. This is my second year in that system, so I know where to be at and know what to do. If I don’t do it, if I’m not locked in, I’m upset with myself.”
After 14 seasons, he’s still challenging himself, getting mad at himself and finding ways of making himself, and his teammates, better and that’s why “Vino” would be the perfect nickname for the man who has found the fountain of youth….and is now an underrated defender. Right Doc?!
“No,” Rivers said, chuckling, before complimenting parts of Crawford’s defense and saying, “I couldn’t pass on that one.”
Oh well, let’s see if Doc changes his mind in the next few years because I don’t see Crawford leaving the league anytime soon.