“Thank You Basketball, I Owe You Everything” | 20-Year NBA Vet Jamal Crawford Hangs It Up; Should He Have Been On An NBA Roster This Season?

(Photo by Michael Reaves/Getty Images)

After 20 seasons in the league, veteran guard Jamal Crawford is retiring from the NBA. The three-time NBA Sixth Man of the Year (’10, ’14, ’16) sent a tweet on Monday. Should Crawford have been on an NBA roster this season?

“Goodbye to the game, all the spoils the adrenaline rush,” Crawford tweeted. “Thank you basketball, I owe you everything …”

Crawford had been open about his desire to return for another season in the league. He last played with the Brooklyn Nets during the 2019-20 season, but he suffered an injury after only one game with the team.

This is a trend that has happened more and more over the last decade or so in the NBA. Veterans are often pushed aside for back-of-the roster spots in favor of a younger player that can be developed.

The problem is most teams don’t actually develop those younger players. So if you’re not going to develop players you might as well have a vet that can actually contribute, or at least has contributed at the NBA level before.

The reality is the veteran minimum is $2.6 million and teams that are constantly watching their cap sheet would rather use that money on two-way players in their G-league system.

Crawford, a “hooper’s hooper,” is second all-time in points off the bench, the second player ever to win three sixth man awards, and is one of eight players ever with 20 seasons.

The former first-round pick out of Michigan finished his career averaging 14.6 points per game, across 1,327 games (433 starts).

The Seattle hoops legend entered the league after he was drafted eighth overall in 2000, Crawford spent his first eight-plus seasons playing for the Chicago Bulls and New York Knicks.

Inn 2009-10, his first season on the Atlanta Hawks, he averaged 18 points on 45/38/86 shooting splits in 31 minutes per game off the bench, earning his first Sixth Man of the Year award.

Jamal Crawford Is A Different Kind Of Dude

Crawford will no doubt still be affiliated with the game. He and former NBA player Quentin Richardson host NBA HooperVision on NBA League Pass, an alternate broadcast of select NBA games during the season.

This stream gives fans a different feel. You get to watch a game with two former NBA players, as they talk signature kicks, X’s and O’s and everything in between.

Then of course there is ‘The Crawsover’ Crawford’s Seattle summer Pro-Am league. Many current and former NBA players have suited up, including: Isaiah Thomas, Zach LaVine, and Kevin Porter Jr.

The final achievement would be if Crawford gets inducted into the Basketball Hall of Fame. That won’t happen. He has a 0 percent chance according to the Basketball Reference Hall of Fame probability model.


He has over 19,000 career points. 20K would have likely bolstered his candidacy. He’s also made over 2200 career threes. But his career win shares and overall impact have Crawford in line with players like Derek Fisher, Devin Harris, Kyle Korver, and Jameer Nelson. All fine NBA players but none worthy of Hall of Fame honors.

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