Home Sports The intangible the Nets are looking for from Jamal Crawford

The intangible the Nets are looking for from Jamal Crawford

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At just five years younger than his interim coach, Jamal Crawford is going to give the Nets more than just buckets in the NBA restart. He’ll add wisdom and a grown-up-in-the-room presence they’ll need.

“Looking forward to it, his leadership,” Jacque Vaughn said Friday via Zoom. “He has a tremendous amount of respect across the league. He’ll be able to talk to our guys, help them out in this different situation. He’s a grown man, he’s got kids, so he’s able to be extremely diligent in talking to our guys.”

At 40, Crawford is the NBA’s oldest active player — but one who faced his coach 21 times, and left an impression.

“What I do remember, his game being shifty, having an array of moves to get his shot off, a guy you enjoy watching, very creative,” Vaughn said. “Towards the latter part of his years, he’s become more of a ball-handler who can distribute. Always had the ability to make a shot. He’s a guy you could take to a playground across the world and he’ll feel comfortable playing on any floor. That’s a special talent.”

One the Nets gladly snapped up. Sans seven players — including Kyrie Irving and Spencer Dinwiddie — they needed firepower and experience.

Jamal Crawford
Jamal CrawfordPaul J. Bereswill

“You wanna make God laugh, tell him your plan. He’ll tell you, sit back and watch this.. So thankful for alllllllllll the positive energy. Beyond humbled and blessed,” Crawford tweeted, with hands clapping and offering thanks.

Crawford will have to quarantine, then knock off the rust from not playing this season. But he scored 51 points in the 2018-19 finale against Dallas for the Suns. Fluke? He had 28 and 27 in the two games before that.

“Great vet. I talked to him Tuesday, then again [Wednesday]. One of the best vets to ever play the game,” Garrett Temple said. “Obviously he’s going to provide a scoring punch, a voice in the locker room that’s been around for a long time, understands how to win.

“Just a great guy, as well — keeps things light, someone we can bounce questions off of. Just a great guy to have around.”

With nine years of NBA experience, Temple is the only healthy Net with over five years in. Newcomer Michael Beasley has 11, but is suspended for the first five games. A 19-year vet, Crawford’s leadership will be vital.

“It’s going to be pretty big,” Temple said. “Having veteran leadership, trying to be adaptable, withstand and be resilient in times of adversity, that’s going to help. A guy like Jamal who’s very even-keeled, keeps things light, as well as ‘Beas’ and myself, that’s going to help.”


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“I’m going to keep it as it is,” Allen said. “I’m not going to let anybody touch it; just going to keep growing it out.”

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