Jordan Crawford became the most obvious casualty of John Wall’s return from a stress injury in his left knee and Bradley Beal’s emergence as a building block at shooting guard. As his role with the Wizards became more diminished, Crawford became more distant and disgusted and President Ernie Grunfeld felt compelled to move him to Boston on Feb. 21 even if the return was minimal at best.
Crawford is on his third team in three seasons, but he had the best games of his career in Washington, where the Wizards gave him the freedom to expand his game, play big minutes and take as many questionable shots as he wanted. The end was undeniably sour and avoidable if Crawford was willing to accept a role as an instant offense sixth man. But now Crawford is denying that his stint with the Wizards ever happened.
The Wizards will have a reunion with Crawford on Sunday at TD Garden, but when reporters in Boston asked him about playing his former team, Crawford responded on Saturday with a question of his own.
“Who?” Crawford said, before adding, “I don’t recall playing for Washington.”
Crawford averaged 14.5 points in 133 games and 62 starts, spread out over parts of three seasons with the Wizards. In 38 combined games played for Atlanta and Boston, Crawford has averaged 6.5 points.
He is averaging 8.2 points and has one start in 22 appearances for the Celtics, who are currently holding on to the seventh spot in the Eastern Conference. But while catching amnesia about his time with the Wizards, Crawford did acknowledge that the environment is much different in Boston.
“Just the seriousness it takes every day. The players we have are different. It’s a blessing to be here and learn from the best,” Crawford said.
Crawford was unable to hide his anger during his final days as a Wizard. He pouted, slouched and yawned on the bench as he received his fourth consecutive DNP-Coach’s Decision on Feb. 19 in a 96-88 loss to Toronto.
Since Crawford was traded, Beal has missed 17 of the past 23 games and is done for the season with a stress injury right fibula. The Wizards (28-47) have been content with having two roster spots occupied by the seldom-used Jason Collins and the injured Leandro Barbosa, who never suited for the team.
Grunfeld bluntly explained why he moved Crawford by stating, “Jordan did not fit into our current plans…or our future plans.”
When asked he had something to prove to Washington, Crawford responded, “To who?”
“It’s just another game,” Crawford said. “I want to come out and try to win the game.”