Draymond Green was not suspended for kicking Steven Adams in Game 3 of the Western Conference Finals, and a lot of NBA players, including Jamal Crawford, aren’t sure what to make of it.
“I’m not sure it was intentional, but fundamentally if you make a mistake, whether on the basketball court or in life, you say ‘I’m sorry’ or ‘My bad’ – and there was none of that,” Crawford said on CBS Sports Radio’s Tiki and Tierney. “So if it was intentional or not, he didn’t do that. Things happen on the basketball court, and even if it wasn’t intentional, (he could have apologized).”
While the Warriors are happy to have Green, they need to figure out the Thunder in Game 4, especially after getting embarrassed in Game 3.
Crawford hasn’t been surprised by how this series has unfolded.
“I thought San Antonio would beat OKC,” he said, “but I thought if OKC could get through that series, I thought they had a better chance out of the two of beating Golden State. Just match-ups. I thought they could match up well. I watched the three games during the season. Even though Golden State won every game, OKC could have easily won all three games.”
The Clippers, who went 53-29 this season, were on a collision course to play the Warriors in the second round of the playoffs, especially after going up 2-0 against Portland. Injuries to Chris Paul and Blake Griffin, however, derailed the Clippers’ playoff hopes.
“I think the last few years, there have been some dramatic outs,” Crawford said. “My first year here, we lost to Memphis after being up 2-0 in the first round. The second year, we’re up seven (in Game 5 with less than a minute to go) and we lost that game and ultimately lose the series. And then last year, being up 3-1 against Houston, we lost that. This year, I can honestly say this was the first year it wasn’t self-inflicted. You lose your two top guns – within five minutes of each other on the same night – I’m not sure any team could withstand that. So I think you have to give it another chance or two to see what we can do fully healthy with this roster.”
Crawford may or may not be a part of that. An unrestricted free agent this offseason, he said he’s “very, very comfortable” in Los Angeles and would prefer to stay with the Clippers. That said, he understands the NBA is a business.
He was asked if he would consider signing with, say, Cleveland to chase a ring – or just an NBA Finals appearance. Crawford, a three-time Sixth Man of the Year winner, has never played in the Finals.
“Honestly, I’m not at that point in my career,” Crawford said of ring-chasing. “Technically, I’m 36, but I feel great. I feel really, really good. I feel like I could stay at this level, barring anything crazy, for another four or five years easy. I believe that.”
Crawford heard the critics when he signed with the Clippers at 32. People thought he was done.
Well, he’s been the best sixth man in basketball two of the last three years.
“I feel like I’m still getting better, which is crazy because I know I’m on the outlier with that,” Crawford said. “I’m in the minority. When guys hit a certain age, they just slow down. But if you look at my numbers, they’re better than they were 10 years ago when I was playing with the Knicks, which is crazy.”
Crawford was also asked about Griffin, who was limited to 35 games this season due to injury and off-the-court issues. Will he be back to his old self next year?
“Yeah, he will,” Crawford said. “No question about it. You go back two years, he was third in the MVP voting. There’s a top shelf of players in this league, and he’s one of those top-shelf guys. He’s a franchise guy, a superstar. He’ll be great.”