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SQ Exclusive Interview With Jamal Crawford

Jamal Crawford is known for his killer crossover on the court, but off the court it's a whole other story. Rocky Widner/Getty Images

You get out of it, what you put in it”

Life is bigger than basketball. Every day on Twitter, @JCrossover tweets “Another day, another opportunity.” There’s more to that than you think. Every day, you have a chance to become a better person. Whether you’re helping out someone in need or working on your basketball game, you’re taking the opportunity to live each day. Jamal knows that. That’s why he’s one of the most respected, kind, and intelligent players in the NBA.

Born and raised in Seattle, Crawford went to Rainer Beach High School. In 1998 he led them to victory in the WIAA State Championship and elected to attend the University of Michigan. After one year at Michigan, Jamal was selected as the 8th pick in the 2000 NBA Draft by the Cleveland Cavaliers (he was traded to the Bulls on draft day), and his journey had begun. 14 years later, Crawford’s a Los Angeles Clipper and has two Sixth Man of the Year Awards under his belt. Jamal Crawford has earned his stripes in the NBA

Jamal was kind enough to give me some of his time, so we did some Q+A— rapid fire style (with answers almost as quick as his crossover!)

BE: Has basketball always been in your blood?

JC: I’ve always played basketball— I’ve been playing organized basketball since I was 8.

BE: How was your one year at Michigan?

JC: It was cold, but a lot of fun!

BE: Which NBA player do you admire the most?

JC: Jordan.

BE: Clippers fans wanna know: what make’s this team better than last years?

JC: Another season under [Doc Rivers’] system and our chemistry.

BE: Who’s funnier: DeAndre or Blake?

JC: Both.

BE: What makes the Seattle Pro-Am so special to you?

JC: Because I played in it when I was 16.

BE: Favorite thing to do outside of basketball?

JC: Be with my family.

BE: What do you say to Kobe critics?

JC: He has 5.

BE: Best moment of your NBA career?

JC: Getting drafted.

BE: Which NBA players are you the closest with?

JC: Isaiah (Thomas) and LaMarcus (Aldridge).

BE: Toughest NBA player to guard?

JC: Kobe. He’s a machine.

BE: How did you model your game?

JC: I took a little from each player.

BE: How did you develop your unfathomable handles?

JC: Kept a ball with me at all times.

BE: Life for Jamal after the NBA?

JC: Work with my foundation. 

BE: Go to move when in trouble?

JC: The crossover.

BE: When Jamal Crawford retires from the NBA he wants to be known as _____?

JC: A good player, but an even better person.

BE: How many more years do you see yourself in this league?

JC: 4 or 5 years left.

BE: Why number 11?

JC: #11 because of Isiah Thomas.

BE: What’s the best advice you’ve ever been given?

JC: You get out of it what you put in it.

BE: For Californians: Does Jamal Crawford eat In-N-Out?

JC: Nope!

Some people don’t appreciate the little things in life; Jamal Crawford appreciates every single one of them. When I was at Seattle Pro-Am, Jamal was taking  pictures and signing autographs for whoever wanted one. He didn’t just play and leave. He knows there are bigger things in life than basketball. He knows that many people look up to him as a role model now, just as how he admired MJ back in the day. 

Jamal holds the record for the most four-point plays in NBA history. This shot-making ability, combined with signature crossover, will keep him productive for the 4 to 5 years he says he has left in the league. This is great, but it isn’t what defines Jamal Crawford. Living in the moment, caring for his family, and appreciating all that he has in his life each and every day is what truly characterizes him. Your life can dramatically change in a split second. You have to be grateful for that which you have. Jamal Crawford changed my life by simply doing this interview with me. I will be grateful forever. 

It’s hard to know what the future has in store, but what you do know is that you have…    

Another day, another opportunity. 

Edited by John Ray.

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