Jamal Crawford has officially stepped away from the game.
The crafty guard appeared in his final game during the 2019-20 season with the Brooklyn Nets. These 5 minutes of action against the Milwaukee Bucks clocked his only appearance during his age-39 season. So while the writing has been on the wall for quite some time, Crawford finally posted a goodbye message this morning on social media before The Athletic’s Shams Charania released the official word.
Three-time Sixth Man of the Year Jamal Crawford announces he’s officially retired from basketball. Nineteen NBA seasons, 19,419 career points, a true hoops lifer.
— Shams Charania (@ShamsCharania) March 21, 2022
Crawford started his 21-year-long career with the Chicago Bulls back in the year 2000. The Cleveland Cavaliers drafted Crawford with the No. 8 pick, quickly sending him to the Bulls in a draft-day deal. Crawford went on to experience a steady rise over his four seasons in Chicago, which included a final season in 2003-04 where he averaged 17.3 points with 5.1 assists, 3.5 rebounds, and 1.4 steals.
The Bulls eventually traded the surging Crawford to the New York Knicks. Over these next five seasons in the Big Apple, he would rise up the league ranks as one of the NBA’s more lethal shot-creators and ball-handlers. It all led to quite the killer bench role for Crawford in Atlanta and Los Angeles, where he accumulated three Sixth Man of the Year Awards.
When it comes to thinking about some of the most creative and artistic players to ever touch a basketball, Crawford’s name simply has to sit among the best. He was an expert improviser who dazzled with his ball-handling skills and shot-making ability. Few players in history epitomize the meaning of “sparkplug scorer” more than Crawford. He had a knack for the highlight play and offensive explosion, and he reminded us of that late in his career when he became the oldest player in NBA history to score 50+ points. Crawford was 38 years old when he dropped an astonishing 51 points for the Phoenix Suns in 2019 (it would be the second-to-last game of his career).
Anyway, happy retirement to a former-Bull and a true ankle-breaking savant.
Reminisce along with me!
when Jamal Crawford hit SIXTEEN SHOTS IN A ROW, including EIGHT THREES pic.twitter.com/SMMX1tjxSi
— Rodger Sherman (@rodger) March 21, 2022
jamal crawford’s behind-the-back jump-stop crossover will for all of history be one of the greatest ever basketball moves ever — an absolute genius with the basketball in his hands pic.twitter.com/lxH5pJuUkp
— Shea Serrano (@SheaSerrano) March 21, 2022
— 2nd all time in points off the bench
— 2nd player ever with 3x 6MOY
— 1 of 8 players ever with 20 seasons pic.twitter.com/vEXPfo8nSD
— StatMuse (@statmuse) March 21, 2022