Jamal Crawford Practiced Shooting for the First Time This Summer

by October 19, 2012

Stephen Jackson’s boast that he never trains in the offseason had people shaking their heads in disbelief. But, it turns out that he’s not alone. Jamal Crawford tells the LA Times that he only started working on this shot this summer: “After 12 NBA seasons and with a firm reputation as a pure shooter, Clippers guard Jamal Crawford tried something during the off-season he had never done before. He practiced shooting. It’s astonishing to think that Crawford, who is the NBA’s career leader with 34 four-point plays and ranks 21st all-time with 1,387 three-pointers, didn’t routinely spend his summers in stuffy gyms trying to perfect his shot. ‘I’ve never actually been drilled before. Seriously. I told Blake that, and he couldn’t believe it,’ Crawford said of teammate Blake Griffin. Crawford, 32, felt compelled to change his preparation after he signed a free-agent deal with the Clippers worth about $21 million over four years. Coming off a subpar season with the Portland Trail Blazers in which he hit 30.8% of his three-point attempts and shot a below-career-average 38.4% from the field, the NBA’s 2010 sixth man of the year saw an opportunity for good things here, and he wanted to be ready. For him, that meant doing shooting drills. ‘This summer was actually the first summer I worked on my game. I usually just play off of raw talent,’ he said Thursday after the Clippers’ practice. ‘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.’”