His anger, however, isn’t based on the fact that the top-seeded Bucks were upset by the Miami Heat in just five games in the opening round of the NBA playoffs. It’s the fact he was barely used in the series.
Crowder, who was traded to the Bucks just before the trade deadline in February, appeared in only 30 combined minutes during the series. He played in just 19 seconds in Game 5, and didn’t play at all in Game 4.
“I’ve never been in a situation like that,” Crowder told the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel. “Eleven years. Check my resume, I’ve been playing. I’ve always been playing.
“I’m very confused as to why I was brought here. I don’t know my purpose here and why I was brought here … I wasn’t expecting that, DNPs. I haven’t had them in my career, so why start now?”
Crowder was dealt to the Bucks just before the trade deadline after sitting out the early part of the season with the Phoenix Suns amid his trade request. In 18 games, Crowder averaged 6.9 points and 3.8 rebounds in nearly 19 minutes per contest.
Now, Crowder’s presence in their series with the Heat may not have made a difference. Jimmy Butler led Miami flying past the Bucks while averaging 37.6 points in the series. He put up 42 points in Game 5, and hit a wild shot to force overtime after starting the fourth quarter in a 16-point hole. Milwaukee star Giannis Antetokounmpo was sidelined briefly with a back injury he sustained in Game 1.
But it’s easy to see why Crowder would be frustrated. Having to watch the Bucks be on the wrong end of one of the biggest playoff upsets in recent history and being unable to contribute wouldn’t be fun.
Crowder will be an unrestricted free agent this summer, and there’s sure to be teams willing to give the 32-year-old a deal. Yet, despite his criticisms and the tough way the season ended, Crowder isn’t ruling out a return to Milwaukee.
"I would [re-sign], because in the locker room it's a great group of guys who puts work first and we have fun after that," Crowder said. "I can work in that type of environment and I really do appreciate my teammates for welcoming me. From day one it's just been love from that side."