Jamal Crawford practices shooting for first time
by Adi Joseph, USA TODAY Sports
Jamal Crawford is not a perfect shooter. Practice makes perfect. Therefore, it reasons that Jamal Crawford, 13-year NBA veteran and former 20-point-per-game scorer, has never practiced shooting.
Crawford, who joined the Los Angeles Clippers this offseason, says he has never focused on his shooting form. Let’s repeat: The former sixth man of the year, who averages 15.3 points a game for his career, doesn’t bother with the same shooting practice every 6-year-old peewee basketball player handles.
“I’ve never actually been drilled before. Seriously. I told Blake (Griffin) that, and he couldn’t believe it,” Crawford told the Los Angeles Times.
Why would Griffin believe it? Here’s a new teammate who is expected to provide a major boost off the bench telling you about how he’s spent 12 years in this league not bothering to improve his jump shot.
The position Crawford plays is shooting guard.
“This summer was actually the first summer I worked on my game. I usually just play off of raw talent,” Crawford told the Times. “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.”
Crawford’s lack of practice may explain his erratic shooting in the past. For his career, he’s made 34.8% of his three-pointers. But he shot a career-worst 30.8% last season. His best and worst shooting seasons don’t follow any logical pattern. Take this stretch, early in his career: career-best 44.8% in 2001-02, 35.5% in 2002-03, 31.7% in 2003-04, 36.1% in 2004-05.
But Crawford led the NBA by shooting 92.7% from the free throw line last season.
Still, we imagine Michael Jordan is shaking his head somewhere.