Crawford still with Clippers as trade deadline passes
There was a frenzy of moves made just before the NBA’s trade deadline Thursday afternoon, but the Clippers weren’t one of those teams dealing in a whirlwind of activity.
Jamal Crawford, whose name was reported to be involved in trade talks, was back at his locker Thursday after a whirlwind of uncertainty.
When asked if he was relieved he wasn’t traded, Crawford shrugged his shoulders and said: "It is what it is."
Whether the Clippers were thinking about dealing Crawford — the NBA’s reigning sixth man of the year – or not doesn’t seem to matter. It’s clear by things Crawford said and his mannerisms that his name being involved affected him.
"I have no idea (if it was realistic)," Crawford said of a possible trade. "I know as much as you do. You think it was real?"
Doc Rivers, who is also the Clippers’ president of basketball operations, said before the trade deadline that he didn’t think a deal would happen but the Clippers were active in talks and that he wouldn’t rule anything out. He also said he wouldn’t make a trade just because of an injury because that was short-time thinking.
Crawford knows what his teammates were thinking.
"They couldn’t even believe it. Honestly," Crawford said. " … They really didn’t believe it."
Crawford – who didn’t characterize how he was feeling — has to put aside the drama of the last few days.
"I just play," Crawford said. "I play for my teammates. I play to win. That’s it."
Crawford said his family was affected more than he was about the rumors. He said he’s ready to help the Clippers â in sixth place in the tough Western Conference â down the stretch run.
"To win. That’s it. It’s not the individual," Crawford said of his focus. "It’s not shooting 39 percent versus 50. It’s just going to play and trying to win."
A day earlier when he was asked if he was happy in Los Angeles, he said he was happy but in a monotone manner.
"I wouldn’t say (it was) stressful, just weird," Crawford said of a trade possibility. "Like I said, we’ve been here before. Just kind of weird."
Rivers said Crawford had two really good practices the two previous days, like usual. Crawford said he was playing basketball over the All-Star break at Crawford Court at Rainier Beach High in Seattle, where he starred in high school.
He’s played for six NBA teams, so he’s been through this before.
"I understand this whole thing is a business," said Crawford, 34. "I’ve been around long enough to know that. You look at a guy like Isaiah Thomas. Last year he played with one team, and now he’s played on three teams in six months."
Rivers and the Clippers didn’t have a lot of assets to be serious players in the whirlwind of trades Thursday.
Asked if he likes this team, once a healthy Blake Griffin returns, for the playoffs, Rivers said: "Yes, is the answer. I like our team. I’ve liked it all year, and we haven’t played consistently the way I would like us to all the time. But I keep going back to when we play well, we play well.
"And I’m hoping that when we play well, that’s how we’ll play in the playoffs. That’s all you can hope for."