Jamal did not have a traditional upbringing as he was raised by a single mother in Seattle. When he turned 14 she thought it would be good for him to move to Los Angeles with his father. Jamal moved begrudgingly and begged his mother the whole time he was in California to come home to Seattle. Jamal was getting in lots of trouble and his grades were so poor he never played for his school. When Jamal was 16 his sister bought him a one way ticket back to Seattle where he presented his mother with no other option than to accept him again. Immediately Jamal became a hoops star in Washington. Jamal wore the number “23” which is now retired in his name at Rainer Beach. The court is even named “Crawford’s Court” now after he donated 100k for improvements a few years ago. Crawford is now old money in the NBA compared to most of the Seattle Ballers and he is definitely giving it back it to the community. Be sure to check out his Foundation.
When Jamal was young he never doubted he was going to become a professional basketball player. He was mentored by Doug Cristie, Gary Payton, and Shawn Kemp who all showed him the dedication he needed to have to play on that level. However there were some hang ups in his path to stardom. When he was in high school he also became connected with a local telecommunications mogul named Barry Henthorn. Jamal left Seattle after high school for the University of Michigan. Jamal began starting right away and was even the Wolverines leading scorer. In the middle of his freshman season Jamal Crawford found himself in the middle of a NCAA recruiting investigation. Jamal had been receiving money for room, board and other expenses from the Seattle based the entrepreneur Barry Henthorn. The key evidence from the case was a brand new black 1998 Mercedes that Jamal was sporting around Ann Arbor. Jamal was then suspended by the NCAA after playing only 16 games. He had a soft landing from his sticky situation in college. Jamal became an instant millionaire as the eighth pick in the 2000 draft by the Cleveland Cavaliers. Jamal never ended up playing in Cleveland as he was traded to the Chicago Bulls before the season started. During second year in Chicago he tore his ACL scrimmaging against Michael Jordan.
He has bounced around a lot in the NBA playing for four teams (Chicago, New York, Golden State, and Atlanta) and eleven coaches in his ten seasons. As a 6 foot 5 shooting guard Jamal has proven himself as a dynamic scorer in the league and is being compensated to the tune of eight million dollars annually for his efforts. Jamal is the only player in the NBA to score over fifty points for three different teams. He also holds the record for most four point plays in the history of the NBA which stands at 24. This last season with Atlanta was his first time ever going to the playoffs. He had to relinquish his normal starting spot to All Star shooting guard Joe Johnson but Jamal came of the bench and scored an astonishing 18 points a game. This impressive feat earned him the honors of NBA Sixth Man of the Year in 2010 just one year after Jason Terry won the award.
Here are a few sick highlights from through out Jamal Crawford’s career: