Nearing age 36, the Clippers‘ Jamal Crawford isn’t giving any thought to retirement, at least not until 2021, writes Dan Woike of The Orange County Register. The veteran shooting guard will mark another birthday Sunday, but he believes he still has five years left in the NBA. Crawford has remained among the league’s most productive bench players this season, averaging 13.7 points and 26.5 minutes per game. “I’m a product of clean living,” proclaimed Crawford, who credits abstinence from smoking and drinking with helping him prolong his career. How much longer he’ll spend with the Clippers is uncertain, though. Crawford is in the final season of a four-year contract and was mentioned in trade rumors earlier this year.
There’s more from the Western Conference:
- Jeff Green isn’t expecting much of a reaction Saturday in his first game back in Memphis since last month’s trade, according to Rowan Kavner of NBA.com. The Clippers acquired Green from the Grizzlies in a deal at the deadline in exchange for Lance Stephenson and a 2019 first-rounder. “It’s not, like, emotional,” Green said. “I wasn’t here long enough. I could see if it was Boston, a team that I spent four years with, you know, went through a lot of personal stuff there, too. That was an emotional return.”
- The Lakers and Suns have been out of the playoff race for a long time, but their game tonight is still important, writes Mark Medina of The Los Angeles Daily News. L.A. is four and a half games ahead of Phoenix for second place in the latest reverse standings. Draft position is especially important for the Lakers, who need their pick to fall in the top three to avoid having it sent to the Sixers. Even so, coach Byron Scott gives no thought to losing. “We’re not in a weird position,” he said. “We play Phoenix and we’re trying to win the game.”
- The Rockets held another players-only meeting after Wednesday’s lopsided loss to the Clippers, writes Calvin Watkins of ESPN.com. “This is fifth, sixth, seventh, eighth, I don’t know which meeting it is,” said power forward Donatas Motiejunas. “I think talking shouldn’t be the one thing that we do. We shouldn’t talk anymore; we should look at ourselves and try to change some things.” Houston tried to shake things up last month by trading Motiejunas to Detroit, but the Pistons canceled the deal due to concerns about his back.