Q&A: Jamal Crawford

Posted by C.L. Anthony on Thursday, December 25, 2014 with No comments
Courtesy of James Park

Q: You’re turning 35 soon. Is your body starting to react differently at all in terms of recovery time from playing or getting nicked up here and there?
Crawford: My body has been the same for the most part. I’m blessed to have some of the best trainers in basketball, as well as being proactive with maintenance.
Q: You’re still playing the same way as you always have – crossing people up with your handles and getting by with the still-quick first step – which is pretty remarkable. Players’ skills diminish over time and they have to make adjustments, but that hasn’t really been the case with you. How have you been able to maintain such a style of play that most players at your age can only dream of doing?
Crawford: Again, I think taking care of myself on and off the court. I really take care of myself by not putting anything in my body that can hurt me. Getting plenty of rest, and still being in love with the game. Helps me stay young.
Q: Your minutes are slightly down compared to the last couple of years. Do you know what that’s about?
Crawford: My minutes are down a little, but we have a deep team. I think Doc is just thinking more big picture.
Q: How tough was it to lose Alvin Gentry over the summer and what kind of an impact did he have on you and the team last year?
Crawford: Alvin was a great coach for us. He was always positive and a guy who was upbeat. That’s contagious. He’s doing a heck of a job in Golden State. We added some great coaches as well though, so maybe a win-win for everyone.
Q: What has changed for the team with Mike Woodson taking his position?
Crawford: I think both he and Woody are great coaches who have had a lot of success in their own right. I played for Woody in Atlanta the first time I won Sixth Man of the Year. So knowing him, once I heard about getting him, I knew what he was about and what he brought to the table.
Q: As you know, Gentry is now making his presence felt with the Golden State Warriors. Are you seeing some of the same plays from them that you guys were running last year?
Crawford: Yes I see some of the things we ran, with a couple of new wrinkles.
Q: Speaking of the Warriors, are they kind of etched in stone as one of your biggest rivals after seeing them in the playoffs last season? Or is it different now with Mark Jackson out of the picture?
Crawford: I think the Warriors are some of our biggest rivals. Being in the same state, both kind of rising at the same time and playing each other in the playoffs. It all makes for a good story line.
Q: What exactly started this heavy dislike between the two teams? Much was made last year about how you guys refused to hold chapel with them. Did it all start when Kent Bazemore mocked Blake Griffin in Oracle a couple of years ago for hitting the side of the backboard on a 3-point attempt?
Crawford: I honestly don’t know exactly where it started, but it’s there. Especially after going to seven games with them last year. If we went eight, it could have been 4-4. Who knows.
Q: Despite the rivalry, you seem to have a pretty good relationship with Draymond Green, their new starting power forward. How did that come about?
Crawford: Just through competition. We were able to look past the Michigan/Michigan State rivalry (Crawford attended University of Michigan while Green attended Michigan State) haha. I think he’ll be right up there for the MIP award.
Q: You guys were 20-9 at this time last year and considered one of the top teams in the West. You’re at 19-10 now, about the same as last year, but sitting as the sixth seed and just one game ahead of the Spurs. How crazy is that? Is this the most ridiculous year ever in terms of level of competition in the West?
Crawford: Yeah. For us, we know that ultimately we’ve become one of the teams that will be judged on their postseason success. We know that it’s a dog fight every night. You have to be on your toes and on edge every night in the West. No nights off out here!
Q: The team has endured some tough losses in recent games. The offense is still one of the tops in the league as it was last year, but the defensive rating has dropped from ninth last year to 19th this year. That’s a steep drop. What’s been the primary cause of this and how has Doc addressed the issue?
Crawford: I’m not sure exactly why we’ve dropped as much, but it is the first quarter of the season so hopefully as it goes on we can become that top ten defensive team like last year. We all know that how we play defense will determine how far we go.