Jamal Crawford: Last of the Ballers

Submitted by ypsituckyboy on October 24th, 2017 at 2:51 PM

Awesome SI feature on one of the best to ever lace them up for Michigan, Crawsover. Especially after the raw deal he got at Michigan, it's great to hear how glowingly people talk about him as a person. Currently the last remaining player from the 2000 NBA draft class.

Perception doesn't always match reality.

Comments

snarling wolverine

October 24th, 2017 at 3:20 PM ^

Whatever the motivation of his benefactor, it pretty much turned his life around and got him out of a terrible L.A. neighborhood.  But because his mom didn't sign away his guardianship (because, duh, why would you), the NCAA decided halfway through his freshman year (on the eve of the MSU game, IIRC) that he needed to be banned for life if he didn't pay it all back.

 

jmblue

October 24th, 2017 at 3:45 PM ^

Not that Henthorn didn't hook him up, but Crawford did come from a pretty rough background. I have more sympathy for him than say, Louis Bullock, who was from a stable middle-class family and took Ed Martin's money anyway.

 

Other Andrew

October 24th, 2017 at 3:07 PM ^

He was brutal to watch back when I had Bulls season tickets. I couldn't wait for them to move him. Despite his play at that time, he still seemed like a decent kid. Glad he found his niche.

wayneandgarth

October 24th, 2017 at 3:17 PM ^

I'm a Wolves fan here in Minneapolis.  He single handedly gave the Wolves their first win of the year scoring a ton in the 4th qtr.  Coach Thibs drew up options on the last key possession but said all were designed for Crawford as he'd seen him make so many key shots before. 

AC1997

October 24th, 2017 at 4:05 PM ^

I think most of what's been said here matches my memory of the situation.  The angle that most Michigan fans put on the story at the time was that this guy helped get him away from a scary background in LA, took care of him for 3 years like a guardian and not like an agent, everyone knew that at the time, and then the NCAA came calling.  They kept doing the NCAA thing where they'd take forever to make a ruling and Michigan had to decide whether to play him and risk forfeiting games or sit him just in case.  The final ruling was that he could come back as a sophomore if he paid back thousands of dollars of "benefits" to the guy, which Crawford couldn't afford since there are restrictions on NCAA athletes working and earning money, so he bolted for the draft after playing just a few games.  

Maybe the relationship was shady and the NCAA was aiming in the right direction, but both the way they slow-played the investigation, handed out a hefty penalty, AND didn't enforce the same rules with Boozer made Michigan fans pissed.