Crawford remembers time with Wizards

Crawford remembers time with Wizards
May 1, 2013, 4:30 pm
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Apparently, Jordan Crawford is no longer battling a severe case of amnesia when it comes to his time in Washington.

Delusion might be another story.

Last month, the volume shooting ex-Wizard said "I don't recall playing for Washington" despite having actually participated in 143 games over three seasons. Now a member of the Celtics following a trade deadline deal after the relationship with the team grew frosty, Crawford spoke with the Washington Post during Boston's current playoff series with the Knicks. Boston faces a possible elimination game Wednesday in New York.

It turns out Crawford is enjoying his time with the Celtics - and that his memory remains intact, though perhaps faulty. 

* About being traded from Washington: “It was time. It was definitely time to go,” Crawford said. “I wanted to leave.”

That became evident when Crawford sent out a not-so-cryptic tweet in February - right after his minutes plummeted. The social media update reminded his followers that in December the third-year guard generated prolific stats, which in turn put a spotlight at his then declining numbers. Four days later the Wizards dealt Crawford to the Celtics for Jason Collins and Leandro Barbosa.

Collins received limited minutes, the injured Barbosa never visited Washington and neither Barbosa or Collins is expected back next season. While his teammates loved "Steez," management also recognized that Crawford must go even if it meant receiving nothing tangible in return.

"It's just unfortunate he had to leave," Bradley Beal said during the Wizards exit interview day last month. "That's what our guys wanted and probably what he wanted as well. At the end of the day it's still business. I'm glad he's in a good situation."

Bradley, Jordan will see your good situation and raise the status to great...

* “Definitely in a great position. It ain’t people that hold you back and hate on you for no reason,” Crawford said. “The environment, it’s people that’s been through all types of battles and tell you stories to get you prepared for the playoffs, which the vets here did. So the people around here definitely different.”

Definitely different is also viable way to describe a player who chose to wear socks with marijuana leaves on them this week.

"Jordan's a guy - he got you all riled up saying he didn't recall playing for the Wizards and stuff," Garrett Temple said. "Jordan's a great guy. He's just his own type of guy. When you understand him, you can get to know him better, you can get closer to him."

(Anyone else picture Randy Wittman reading this quote and having a reaction similar to this Adam Sandler scene?)

* “If they would’ve accepted what I was doing, plain and simple,” Crawford said, when asked what could’ve kept him in a Wizards uniform. “I put in the work. Nobody else doing what I’m doing. I could’ve won them more games and that’s what they wanted from me; I think they wanted me to be Superman a little bit. But if I put up a triple-double trying to get them a win and you come in and blame the whole game on me, you know what time it is. You see what it is.”

With Bradley Beal sidelined in early February, Wizards coach Randy Wittman inserted Garrett Temple into the starting lineup over Crawford. Considering Crawford's instant offense type game, a sixth-man role suits his talents best. Washington could not convince him of that. 

"Jordan took some questionable shots, but you get the good with the bad because he can make some of those questionable shots," Temple said. "You need at least one of those guys on the team that can make those tough shots. He was the guy on our team that did that."

Temple is spot on, but that role is most definitely a supporting one on most nights. The lack of understanding by Crawford might eventually become his professional kryptonite.

As for the triple-double reference, we can assume it refers to the 100-95 home loss in overtime against the Hawks. Crawford went for 27 points, 11 rebounds and 11 assists.

"Jordan's going to always keep fighting," Wittman said following the game. "He might not always take the best shots. I might scratch my head and look to the ceiling sometimes, but I do know he's going to compete. That's who he is."

Again, this is what Wittman said AFTER Crawford posted a triple-double. This was not a coach being unappreciative. This was a coach recognizing at the time that with John Wall, Trevor Ariza and A.J. Price injured he had no choice but to play Crawford heavy minutes even if not ideal to achieve his brand of winning basketball. Once they returned, Wittman had other options, sanity could be restored.

"As a player, as a true competitor, that's the one thing I will always remember about him," A.J. Price said. "He wasn't always the easiest guy to deal with or talk to, but when it came it to between those lines, time to play, he was going to compete and give you everything he had."

*When asked what he has learned most from this season, Crawford said, “Let the haters hate. Simple as that."

End scene. It will be interesting to see this summer how many of the haters take the form of purse-string controlling NBA general managers when it comes to the upcoming free agent. Crawford has a role in the NBA, but if he doesn't change his too-cool-for-school ways, his time to leave the league will come sooner than it should.