If you know one thing about Jamal Crawford, it’s that he loves shooting. Threes, long twos, contested long twos, contested long twos after several dribbles, contested threes — you name it and Jamal Crawford will shoot it. He loves shooting so much he should just marry it already, geez.
But here is the crazy thing — according to Jamal Crawford himself, he’s never practiced shooting. Seriously. From the Los Angeles Times:
“I’ve never actually been drilled before. Seriously. I told Blake that, and he couldn’t believe it,” Crawford said of teammate Blake Griffin. [...]
“This summer was actually the first summer I worked on my game. I usually just play off of raw talent,” he said Thursday after the Clippers’ practice. “But I just wanted to work on something and be in great shape coming into camp. I came here right after Labor Day, which is the earliest I’ve ever gone to any team in the summer, and all the guys were here, committed to getting better.
“Now it’s part of my lifestyle, working out and being here, shooting and getting shots up. It gives you more confidence that if you miss one or two, you know you’ve been working on it every single day and your teammates have confidence because they see it as well.”
How is this even possible? I know no one thinks of Jamal Crawford as a paragon of professionalism who spends hours upon hours in the gym getting better, but spending 12 seasons in the league and never once taking a summer to improve is almost unbelievable. Didn’t he ever get bored at home and just decide to go get some shots up? Hasn’t he ever had a teammate call him up and ask him to go work out? Has he never had a coach sit him and down and lay out a plan for the summer?
This is just bizarre. I don’t even really care that Jamal Crawford is pretty much admitting to lazing through the first 12 offseasons of his career — which is both equally surprising and not surprising — but I just can’t believe that a guy who likes shooting so much wouldn’t want to spend all his time shooting. It would seem like the perfect pastime for him. We know he plays in the summer, destroying nobodies in pointless pro-am runs, so why wouldn’t he just take an hour here and there to shoot around? I think he’d love it.
But I guess we should get ready for the best season of Jamal Crawford’s career. If he’s been this solid for his whole career thus far, imagine how good he can be now that he’s actually practicing.