Jamal Crawford Still Has Value and is Patiently Waiting for a Team to Notice

By Ben Stinar
Phoenix Suns v Miami Heat
Phoenix Suns v Miami Heat / Michael Reaves/Getty Images

51 points on 60 percent shooting.

That's what Jamal Crawford did during his most recent NBA game.

Yet even after such an incredible performance, which came on April 9 of last season and also included five assists and five rebounds off of the bench, he remains unsigned.

Right now, Crawford is in Seattle, Washington, his hometown, working out every day and patiently waiting for an opportunity.

"I've always been the type to never get out of shape," Crawford told The Big Lead in an email. "Even in the 'off' season, I stay at it. So for me, it's not that shock factor of going back to play."

As the game of basketball continues to get younger and younger, a player at 39-years-old like Crawford gets left behind.

There's no reason that should happen.

Only 10 other players in the NBA last season scored 51 points like Crawford. None of them came off the bench.

Crawford has accepted his role as a bench scorer for his whole career. He's exceptional at providing a scoring punch when the starters rest. He's also embraced being a mentor to younger players. Guys like that are invaluable in the NBA.

"Having vets is so important," he said. "My early years in the league, I didn't learn how to truly be a pro until I had vets/mentors with me. In any profession, I would think someone who has experience in that field would help someone that is starting their journey. It makes the road a little easier."

In Phoenix last season, Crawford appeared in 64 games playing around 19 minutes per game. Over the final month of the season, when his minutes increased, he averaged 26.6 points and 6.2 assists in 32 minutes per game.

Even though he scored 51 points in a game and put up the big scoring numbers down the stretch of last season, his favorite memory is the game he tallied a career-high 14 assists.

"My best memory from last season was getting a career-high assist in the Garden against the Knicks," he said. "Everyone played well, it was a good road win, and I felt like I had total control of the game in a different way."

That's Crawford. Always unselfish and one of the most likable guys in the NBA. The only question is when he'll get the call to join up with a team.

"We've been in contact with teams, but pretty much that's how far it's gotten," he said. "But in the NBA, things are always pretty fluid and can change fast, so just staying patient."

Last season, he did not officially sign with the Suns until October 17. There is still time this season for NBA teams to make the right choice.