In an exclusive interview with Brandon “Scoop B” Robinson Thursday, Jamal Crawford says whatever the Nets want from him, they’ll get it.
“Whatever they want me to do, I’ll do exactly that or to the best of my ability,” said the three-time Sixth Man of the Year, when asked if he preferred to start or come off the bench for the depleted Nets. “Thankful for the opportunity. God always has a plan better than the one you think you have,”
Crawford, signed earlier Thursday, also said that he’s happy to return to a New York team, even though he won’t be playing in front of New York fans.
“I like New York fans because of their energy,” he said, having played nearly five years for the Knicks. “I know what the New York fans are like and now I’m not actually in Brooklyn, I’m in Orlando representing Brooklyn, but that energy you’ll feel it.”
Crawford, seen as one of the league’s best veteran leaders, thinks that despite everything, the Nets shouldn’t be underestimated. He’s seen the roster and believes Brooklyn will be ready to compete.
“People on the outside aren’t expecting too much from us. And that’s cool. The game still has to be played,” he said on the Emergency Scoop B Radio Podcast. “I’ll make sure to keep that in our minds and take it one game at a time,” he said, adding, “In this situation it kinda works in our favor, it’s kinda like an AAU game. We really get to lock in.”
He’s also enthused about what the new teammates can bring to the “bubble.” sounding alternatively like a veteran teammate and a coach.
“Beas, has always been one of the more talented guys in the league,” he said of Michael Beasley, also signed Thursday. “You don’t need to run plays for him. Get him the ball and he makes it happen. That’s the luxury of having a guy like that on the team.”
As for rookie big Donta Hill, Crawford likes what he sees there as well.
“Obviously Donta being a young big coming up and with great experience right now, a team that’s in the Playoffs, we have the opportunity to push that,” he added. Crawford, at 40, is a generation older than the 22-year-old.
Crawford saved his biggest praise for fellow Michigan Wolverine and protege Caris LeVert, calling him “one of the greats of the game.
“He’s a student of the game, he always wants to get better,” he told Robinson. “With that humility and that love and that drive he has for the game, he’s one of the greats in the game for a long time.”
As for life in the “bubble,” not a problem for a guy who hasn’t played yet this season —- and has been looking for an opportunity to get back on the court. He last played in the NBA nearly 15 months ago for Phoenix.
“I’ve only had one meal to be honest with you,” he said. “It was good. I mean, Scoop I’ve been at home for a year. So I have nothing to complain about. I’m just happy to be here.”
Crawford also told Robinson about why he chose No. 1, who was his inspiration.
“I will be wearing number one,” Robinson said. “I started wearing 1 because of Penny [Hardaway].”