Jordan Crawford, Iman Shumpert

Former Wizard Jordan Crawford tells reporters he doesn’t recall playing for Washington


Jordan Crawford is playing for his third team in his third NBA season, after the Wizards dealt him to Boston at the Feb. 21 trade deadline.

Crawford flourished when he was given the minutes in Washington, but fell out of favor in the rotation once John Wall returned from injury and rookie Bradley Beal was more enticing to upper management.

As the Celtics practiced on Saturday in advance of playing the Wizards on Sunday, Crawford was asked about facing his former team, and the topic wasn’t one he was interestd in discussing.

From Baxter Holmes of the Boston Globe:

Jordan Crawford will face his former team, the Washington Wizards, on Sunday at TD Garden.

“Who?” Crawford asked before practice Saturday when the issue was broached.

Washington, he was told. You’ll be playing Washington. Your old team.

“I don’t recall playing for Washington,” Crawford responded — and he used this line twice.

Apparently, the exchange was even worse in person.

According to Chris Forsberg of ESPN Boston, this nonsense from Crawford lasted “two and a half uncomfortable minutes.”

There are much better ways to handle basic questions from the media, of course, and anytime you hear about something like this, it’s worth remembering that these guys are still growing into young men, despite the fame and fortune they’ve achieved at such an early age.

The way Crawford finally responded would have been the way to go from the very start.

“It’s just another game,” he said. “I want to come out, try to win the game.”

James Harden: “I am the best player in the league. I believe that.”

James Harden, Stephen Curry
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James Harden was the MVP last season — if you ask his fellow NBA players.

The traditional award (based on a media vote) went to Stephen Curry (in the closest vote in four years), and that was the right call (in my mind). But from the time it happened Harden did not buy it. And he still doesn’t buy it. In the least — and he’s using that as fuel for this season. That’s what he told Fran Blinebury over at

“I am the best player in the league. I believe that,” he said. “I thought I was last year, too.”

Well, it’s a more realistic claim than Paul George’s.

“But that award means most valuable to your team. We finished second in the West, which nobody thought we were going to do at the beginning of the year even when everybody was healthy. We were near the top in having the most injuries. We won our division in a division where every single team made the playoffs.

“There’s so many factors. I led the league in total points scored, minutes played. Like I said, I’m not taking anything away from Steph, but I felt I deserved the Most Valuable Player. That stays with me.”

That’s very Kobe Bryant of you to turn that into fuel. Defining the MVP Award is an annual discussion that nobody agrees on.

I could get into how Harden was the old-school, traditional stats MVP, how that ignores how Steve Kerr used Curry, and how that opened up the Warriors’ offense to championship levels. Curry put up numbers, but he was also the distraction, the bright star that Kerr used to open up looks for Klay Thompson, Draymond Green, and others. Curry’s strength was not just what he did with the ball in his hands, but his gravity to draw defenders even when he didn’t. Did the Warriors stay healthier than the Rockets? No doubt. Should Curry be penalized for that?

It’s simple for Harden — if he can put up those numbers again, if he can be the fulcrum of a top offense, he will be in the discussion for MVP again. And, if he can lead the Rockets beyond the conference finals, nobody will talk about that MVP snub anyway.