Aaron Jamal Crawford (born March 20, 1980) is an American professional basketball player for the Minnesota Timberwolves of the National Basketball Association (NBA). Crawford played his high school basketball for Rainier Beach High School, a basketball powerhouse in Seattle, before committing to play for the University of Michigan. Crawford was selected by the Cleveland Cavaliers but was traded on draft day to the Chicago Bulls. In his career, he has also played for the New York Knicks, Golden State Warriors, Atlanta Hawks, Portland Trail Blazers and Los Angeles Clippers. He won the NBA Sixth Man of the Year Award in 2010, 2014 and 2016, becoming the first three-time winner of the award in NBA history.[2] He currently holds the record for most career four-point plays made with 50 (55 when counting the playoffs).[6][29]

 

 

High school and college career

Crawford attended Rainier Beach High School in Seattle, where his number (23) is retired. At Rainier Beach, Crawford was a standout player who led the Rainier Beach Vikings to victory in the 1998 WIAA State Championship. Rainier Beach High School is also where fellow NBA and NCAA basketball players Doug Christie, Nate Robinson, Terrence Williams, and C.J. Giles attended. After high school, Crawford attended the University of Michigan, where he was given a six-game suspension by the NCAA for violating rules on amateurism and extra benefits received by Seattle businessman Barry Henthorn. Crawford served his suspension and ended up averaging 16.6 points, 2.8 rebounds, 4.5 assists and 1.1 steals as a starter for the Wolverines. He was then declared eligible for the 2000 NBA draft.[4][4]

NBA career

Chicago Bulls (2000–2004)

Crawford was drafted in 2000 as a freshman by the Cleveland Cavaliers but was traded on draft day to the Chicago Bulls for their pick, Chris Mihm. In his rookie year Crawford started in 8 of the Bulls' 82 regular season games. In his rookie year Crawford struggled with his shot, shooting just 35.2% from the field. Despite his low shooting percentage, Crawford scored in double digits 10 times and ended the season averaging 4.6 points, 1.5 rebounds and 2.3 assists. In his 2nd NBA season, Crawford played in only 23 games due to injury, starting in 8 of these games. Though limited by injury, in this season he improved in nearly every statistical category, averaging 9.3 points, 1.5 rebounds, 2.4 assists. In his third year with the Bulls, Crawford played in 80 games, starting in 31. Crawford became a major component of Bill Cartwright's offense, and continued to improve statistically, averaging 10.7 points, 2.3 rebounds, 4.2 assists and 1 steal per game. The Bulls missed the playoffs with a record of 30-52. Crawford's fourth year in Chicago was his last. In the season Crawford averaged 17.3 points, 3.5 rebounds, 5.1 assists and 1.4 steals. During the season Crawford became the starting shooting guard for the Bulls, Crawford had his best game as a Bull, scoring 50 points and drilling 6-11 three pointers, vs. the Toronto Raptors on April 11, 2004. The Bulls finished at 23-59 in what was Scottie Pippen's last year in the NBA. Prior to the 2004–05 season (after four seasons in Chicago), Crawford was traded, along with Jerome Williams, to the Knicks for Dikembe Mutombo, Othella Harrington, Frank Williams and Cezary Trybanski.

New York Knicks (2004–2008)

 

Crawford joined another young rebuilding team in the Knicks. Crawford started in 67 games for the Knicks, averaging 17.7 points, 2.9 rebounds, 4.3 assists and 1.4 steals. Crawford had many games in which he scored over 20 points, most noticeably a 41-point effort in which he made 17-25 shots against the Charlotte Bobcats on December 4, 2004. The Knicks failed to qualify for the playoffs. Crawford in his second year in New York City took a reduced sixth man role under head coach Larry Brown. In the role he averaged 14.3 points, 3.1 rebounds and 3.8 assists. The Knicks failed to make the playoffs with at 23-59. For the 2006-2007 season the Knicks went a new direction, hiring Isiah Thomas to be the new head coach. He became the 4th head coach for the Knicks in 3 years. Crawford only played in 59 games due to injury but averaged 17.6 points, 3.2 rebounds, and 4.4 assists. In 2007-2008 Crawford averaged 20.6 points, 2.6 rebounds and 5.0 assists. Crawford provided one of the few bright spots for the 23-59 Knicks on January 26, 2007, when he scored a career high 52 points, hitting 16 shots in a row at one point. He hit 8 straight three pointers, one short of the team record set by Latrell Sprewell in 2002.[6] In 2008-2009 Crawford only played in 11 games for the Knicks before being traded to the Golden State Warriors for Al Harrington.

Golden State Warriors (2008–2009)

 

Crawford was a good fit in Don Nelson's run-and-gun offense because of his three-point shooting, ball handling and quickness. Crawford played in 54 games for the Warriors, starting in all of them. He averaged nearly 20 points a game, with 4.4 assists and 1.5 rebounds. On December 20, 2008, Crawford scored 50 points vs the Charlotte Bobcats in a 110–103 victory for the Golden State Warriors. He became the fourth player in NBA history (after Wilt Chamberlain, Bernard King and Moses Malone) to score 50 points or more with 3 different teams, doing so with the Bulls, the Knicks, and the Warriors. The Warriors did not qualify for the playoffs. They traded Crawford to the Atlanta Hawks for guards Acie Law and Speedy Claxton.[7]

Atlanta Hawks (2009–2011)

When Crawford joined the Atlanta Hawks in 2009, the team had made the playoffs the last two seasons. On January 15, 2010 Crawford hit the game-winning three-pointer at the buzzer for the Hawks in a game against the Phoenix Suns; the Hawks won 102-101.[8] On February 3, 2010, Crawford set an NBA record for most career four-point plays made in a win over the Los Angeles Clippers, passing Reggie Miller.[9] Crawford averaged 18.0 points 2.5 rebounds and 2.0 assists off the bench, backing up All-Star guard Joe Johnson, and Mike Bibby. Crawford was a leading candidate for the NBA Sixth Man of the Year Award and won it in 2010. The Hawks, led by Joe Johnson, Josh Smith, Al Horford, Mike Bibby and Crawford, qualified for the playoffs. The clinching turned out to be Crawford's first trip to the playoffs; Crawford had the record for longest tenured player without playing in a playoff game.[2] Crawford and the Hawks advanced past the Milwaukee Bucks in seven games. Crawford led all scorers with 22 in the decisive game seven. The Hawks were eventually swept by the Orlando Magic. In his second season in Atlanta, the Hawks fired coach Mike Woodson and hired Larry Drew. Crawford regressed from his 2009-2010 season but still had a solid season off the bench, averaging 14.2 points, 1.7 rebounds and 3.2 assists. Crawford was considered for the Sixth Man of the Year Award but lost to Lamar Odom. The Hawks made it to the playoffs, this time as the 5th seed in the Eastern Conference. The Hawks defeated the Orlando Magic, in a series where Crawford made a game-clinching three-pointer with six seconds left in Game 3, but were defeated in six games by the Chicago Bulls in the conference semi-finals.

Portland Trail Blazers (2011–2012)

On December 15, 2011, Crawford signed with the Portland Trail Blazers.[2] He averaged nearly 14 points in 60 games, while having a career-high free throw percentage of 92.7 percent in the lockout-shortened season. The Trail Blazers did not make the playoffs with a record of 28-38 (.424).

Los Angeles Clippers (2012–2017)

On July 11, 2012, Crawford signed with the Los Angeles Clippers.[2]

Image
 
Crawford with the Warriors

During the 2012–13 season, Crawford averaged 16.5 points per game, 1.7 rebounds per game, and 2.5 assists per game in 29.3 minutes per game. He played 76 games that season. He also finished in 2nd place in voting for the 2013 NBA Sixth Man of the Year Award, edged out by J. R. Smith. In the opening round of the playoffs, the Clippers were defeated by the Memphis Grizzlies in six games. During the 2013 playoffs, Crawford averaged 10.8 points per game, 2 rebounds per game, and 1.7 assists per game.

During the 2013–14 season, Crawford averaged 18.6 points, 3.2 assists, and 2.3 rebounds per game in 69 games played. His 18.6 points per game were the most ever for a bench player who had at least 1,000 points in a season.

On May 8, 2014, Crawford was named the 2014 NBA Sixth Man of the Year, winning the award for the second time in his career. He led all NBA reserves in scoring with 18.6 points per game, helping the Clippers finish with their best record in franchise history (57–25).[2]

During the fourth quarter of a 121–120 overtime win over the Phoenix Suns on December 8, 2014, Crawford was called for a loose ball foul after getting tangled with Suns' guard Eric Bledsoe at midcourt. After saying something to referee Mark Lindsay, Crawford was hit with a technical and his first career ejection in his 976-game career.[2]

On November 2, 2015, in a win over the Phoenix Suns, Crawford became the third shooting guard in NBA history to reach 16,000 points.[2] On November 14, he scored a game-high 37 points in a 101–96 win over the Detroit Pistons.[2] On January 10, 2016, he recorded his 46th four-point play of his career in a 114–111 overtime win over the New Orleans Pelicans.[2] On April 8, 2016, he made a three-pointer with 0.2 seconds left and finished with 30 points in the Clippers' 102–99 overtime victory over the Utah Jazz.[2] On April 19, he was named NBA Sixth Man of the Year for the third time in his career. At 36 years old, he broke his own record, set in 2014, as the oldest winner of the award.[2][20]

On July 8, 2016, Crawford re-signed with the Clippers.[18] By making two of four three-pointers against the New Orleans Pelicans on December 2, 2016, Crawford (1,962) passed Vince Carter (1,961) for No. 6 on the NBA's all-time list for made three-pointers.[30] With a three-pointer at the 2:06 mark of the second quarter in the Clippers' 118–109 loss to the Toronto Raptors on February 6, 2017, Crawford became the sixth NBA player to reach 2,000 made three-pointers. He joined Ray Allen, Reggie Miller, Jason Terry, Vince Carter and Paul Pierce in the 2000 club.[31] During the game, Crawford also passed Eddie Johnson for No. 2 in career NBA bench scoring. Crawford's 9,572 bench points trails only Dell Curry's 11,147.[31] He also passed Magic Johnson for 74th in career points scored.[32] On February 11 against Charlotte, Crawford scored 22 points while going 5-of-8 on three-pointers. Crawford (2,009) subsequently passed Vince Carter (2,006) for fifth-most three-pointers made in NBA history.[33]

On July 6, 2017, Crawford was acquired by the Atlanta Hawks in a three-team trade involving the Clippers and the Denver Nuggets.[34] The following day, however, he was waived by the Hawks.[35]

Minnesota Timberwolves (2017–present)

On July 19, 2017, Crawford signed with the Minnesota Timberwolves.[36] In his debut for the Timberwolves in their season opener on October 18, 2017, Crawford scored 10 points in a 107–99 loss to the San Antonio Spurs.[37] Two days later, he scored all 17 of his points in the fourth quarter and hit a 3-pointer with 27.5 seconds to go to help the Timberwolves hold off the Utah Jazz 100–97 in their home opener. [29]

Personal life

On August 23, 2014, Crawford married his long-time girlfriend Tori Lucas. 

Notable people attending his wedding were fellow Clippers teammates Blake GriffinMatt BarnesChris PaulDeAndre JordanSpencer Hawes as well as Isaiah Thomas and fellow Seattle-born player Nate Robinson.[29]

He is also popular for his work as a Philanthropist and for his signature JCrossover shoes which are released under the clothing brand named Brandblack.

NBA career statistics

Legend
  GPGames played  GS Games started MPG Minutes per game
 FG% Field goal percentage 3P% 3-point field goal percentage FT% Free throw percentage
 RPG Rebounds per game APG Assists per game SPG Steals per game
 BPG Blocks per game PPG Points per game Bold Career high
*Led the league

Regular season

YearTeamGPGSMPGFG%3P%FT%RPGAPGSPGBPGPPG
2000–01Chicago61817.2.352.350.7941.52.3.7.24.6
2001–02Chicago23620.9.476.448.7691.52.4.8.29.3
2002–03Chicago803124.9.413.355.8062.34.21.0.310.7
2003–04Chicago807335.1.386.317.8333.55.11.4.417.3
2004–05New York706738.4.398.361.8432.94.31.3.317.7
2005–06New York792732.3.416.345.8263.13.81.1.214.3
2006–07New York593637.3.400.320.8383.24.41.0.117.6
2007–08New York808039.9.410.356.8642.65.01.0.220.6
2008–09New York111135.6.432.455.7611.54.4.8.019.6
2008–09Golden State545438.6.406.338.8893.34.4.9.219.7
2009–10Atlanta79031.1.449.382.8572.53.0.8.218.0
2010–11Atlanta76031.1.421.341.8541.73.2.8.214.2
2011–12Portland60626.9.384.308.927*2.03.2.9.213.9
2012–13L.A. Clippers76029.3.438.376.8711.72.51.0.216.5
2013–14L.A. Clippers692430.3.416.361.8662.33.2.9.218.6
2014–15L.A. Clippers64426.6.396.327.9011.92.5.9.215.8
2015–16L.A. Clippers79526.9.404.340.9041.82.3.7.214.2
2016–17L.A. Clippers82126.3.413.360.8571.62.6.7.212.3
Career118243330.6.410.350.8612.33.5.9.215.5

Playoffs

YearTeamGPGSMPGFG%3P%FT%RPGAPGSPGBPGPPG
2010Atlanta11031.9.364.360.8452.72.7.8.116.3
2011Atlanta12029.8.394.350.8241.32.5.8.315.4
2013L.A. Clippers6026.8.387.2731.0002.01.7.5.210.8
2014L.A. Clippers13024.1.398.342.8861.52.0.9.215.5
2015L.A. Clippers14027.1.360.243.8672.11.97.9.212.7
2016L.A. Clippers6133.2.379.190.8802.22.21.7.017.3
2017L.A. Clippers7027.9.422.2401.0001.41.9.6.112.6
Career69128.4.383.302.8701.92.2.9.214.5

See also