January 06, 2009
Jamal Crawford has a knack for dropping 50 points when you least expect it. He did it again last month in Charlotte, leading Golden State to an elusive victory. The Seattle native also has a sense of humor, which is hard to find sometimes in the league. As you'll see from this interview, the Warriors' newest acquisition isn't afraid to offer up his opinion on almost any topic, including who is the Carlton Banks of the NBA ...
Ball Don't Lie: Chad Johnson/Chad Ocho Cinco changed his last name to celebrate his favorite number, 8-5. You've scored 50 a few times now, any thoughts of changing your name to Jamal Cincuenta?
Jamal Crawford: (Laughs) Nah. I ain't changing my name for nothing. It'd be a good nickname, I like Ocho Cinco, but I was a little shocked when he changed it to his real name.
BDL: What about Cinco-Cero or something like that?
Crawford: Nuh-uh. I'm gonna just keep it Jamal Crawford.
BDL: All right. Switching gears, you're one of a few NBA players who actually admits to reading blogs.
BDL: Are you crazy?
BDL: You actually kept a blog for one of the papers in New York. Are you going to keep it going now that you're playing for the Warriors?
Crawford: Nah, I stopped that one. I may start one in Oakland, once I get comfortable, but when I checked [the schedule], out of my first 20 games [with Golden State] 16 of them were on the road, so I haven't really got a chance to see myself in the community yet, but I will for sure.
BDL: I saw that you have your own website, are you going to try and build up more of an online profile?
Crawford: Definitely, build up the profile ... blogs are fun. Usually, fans can scream in the stands but people don't get a chance to interact with the players directly, so I thought it [the blog concept] was really cool.
BDL: While I was reading your blog I saw the words "crawful" and "crawesome." Were those your creations?
Crawford: Nah. (Smiles)
BDL: Somebody else came up with those words?
Crawford: Yeah, somebody else ... we came up with them together and kind of played around with it. I changed [the blog's name] to "The Crawford Files."
BDL: Getting back to the 50-point games for a second, is there some sort of trick to scoring 50?
Crawford: I can't say because each one has been different. Honestly, because the last two times I did it, one time I shot four free throws and the other game I shot 18 free throws. One game I had more threes than the other one, so there's no real trick.
BDL: I read that you're a comedian. What's the best joke you can tell me that's PG-13 rated?
Crawford: Best joke? See I'm not good at just saying jokes, I'm just funny.
BDL: So I guess you won't be starting a stand-up career any time soon?
Crawford: No. No stand-up career.
BDL: There's a YouTube clip of you playing against an 11-year-old.
Crawford: (Smiles) Yeah, Jashaun.
BDL: Have you gotten some heat from some of your buddies for that?
Crawford: No, not at all. He's a special 11-year-old. He's an even better kid than a basketball player. He plays on my AAU team.
BDL: I saw that you have a son of your own, what's it like being a dad in the NBA?
Crawford: It's cool. I've pretty much been one my whole career. He's 10 years old; I've been [in the league] nine years, pretty much the whole time. But it's cool, it's fun. He gets a chance to meet other players that he wants to meet.
BDL: Are you the type of dad who brings the picture out of your wallet to show everybody?
Crawford: Yeah, I have one right there.
BDL: Oh, really?
Crawford: Yeah. (Smiles) [Literally opens up his wallet and shows me a picture of his son].
BDL: Cool ... OK, a few more before we wrap it up. Jay-Z is a good friend of yours and you were featured in one of his commercials at the fictional S. Carter Academy. I know you're still a few credits shy of graduating from Michigan, but what is Jay-Z like as a chancellor?
Crawford: He's great. He's great. He's a leader and he's a guy that's kind of revolutionized different things, getting into business and stuff like that. I'm honored to have him as a friend.
BDL: Finishing up ... I read that you're a "Fresh Prince of Bel-Air" fan.
Crawford: (Smiles) Yeah, Will Smith.
BDL: Is Coach Nelson the Uncle Phil of the NBA?
Crawford: Ha! After I've been around a little bit more I'll be able to tell you, so maybe next season I'll have some answers for you.
BDL: You've been around the league for a while now, who is the Carlton of the NBA?
Crawford: (Pauses) Shane Battier.
Crawford: Yeah, Shane Battier ... or no, Channing Frye. Channing Frye, I played with him.
BDL: Do you think he could do "The Carlton Dance?"
Crawford: Yeah. Yeah, he could do it for sure. Actually, I've seen him do it, so he's perfect.
BDL: He's literally done that dance before?
Crawford: He's done that dance before.