Jamal Crawford glad to join Clippers
LOS ANGELES (AP) — Jamal Crawford looked around the NBA, sized up teams like Minnesota and Philadelphia, and promptly decided to head down the West Coast to join the Los Angeles Clippers.
Getting recruiting calls from All-Stars Chris Paul and Blake Griffin, along with DeAndre Jordan, convinced him it was a good move.
"When players of that caliber want you on their team you really have to sit down and look at that," Crawford said Thursday by phone from Seattle. "Me and Chris talked for a while how good we could be."
The 32-year-old free agent guard, who played in Portland last season, signed a four-year deal worth $21.7 million on Wednesday. Crawford said he's excited to be with the Clippers, who beat the Trail Blazers in three of four games during the lockout-shortened season.
"They actually wanted me and it feels good to be wanted," he said. "You definitely don't want to let anybody down who puts themselves on the line for you."
Crawford became available after opting out of his $5.2 million contract with the Blazers to become an unrestricted free agent. He averaged 13.9 points, 3.2 assists and 2.0 rebounds in 60 games in his lone season with them. He shot 38 percent from the field, 31 percent from 3-point range and led the NBA in free-throw shooting at 93 percent, a weakness for the Clippers last season.
"In Portland we started out 7-2 and one of the best teams on the West Coast," he said. "It was later that we kind of hit a nose dive, Coach got fired and all of a sudden we became a team in transition. It's very tough to be on the teams that are in transition."
Los Angeles is the fifth stop in the 12-year veteran's career. He had stints with Chicago, the New York Knicks, Golden State and Atlanta. Crawford was the league's Sixth Man of the Year with the Hawks in 2009-10, and he's willing to come off the bench with his new team.
Sports Photo Galleriesview all
- 22453Oklahoma tornadoes: The 'Big Dog,' the little boy and the hug that triumphs over tragedy
- 12179Bradley Cooper, Zach Galifianakis, Ed Helms drink in success of 'Hangover' series
- 10764Oklahoma tornadoes: Woman meets the military officer who shared the clothes off his back
- 9050Oklahoma tornadoes: Thunder reverses the role, takes a turn at cheering on the community
- 8838Hobby Lobby argues case before federal judges
- 8708Blake Shelton's "Healing the Heartland" televised tornado benefit set for Wednesday at Chesapeake Energy Arena
- 8233Story behind the photo: Family members describe desperate search for one another after EF5 twister