Monday, November 24th, 2008 at 9:59 am  |  35 responses

The Jamal Crawford Oven, Exit Thoughts

Saying Goodbye to Fire and Ice

Smile when you're down.

by Jake Appleman

You can’t knock the Knicks for making the moves they’ve made. But take a few moments to appreciate, in his own way, one of the men that has walked out of that door.

The beauty of the Jamal Crawford Oven (JCO) is its sheer unpredictability. It heats up randomly, like it has a mind of its own, probably because baking cookies is not a game. When the temperature rises, you can feel it palpably running through him, from shot to shot, possession to possession.

For anyone that wished modernized NBA Jam fire burned in the mecca–and there are plenty of us that grew up on John Starks–Crawford actualized that fantasy, except when he didn’t. Rhythm and blues. And then rhythm again. Deftly pulling the string on pretty pull up from ’18, but only after some unnecessary but pleasing shake-and-bake. Or maybe a sick ball fake in the lane before a pretty flip. Or a killer crossover preceding a runner off glass. Or a sweet pass to Eddy Curry because Eddy Curry was lonely. The list goes on.

Jamal Crawford–and I say this as a compliment–served as a garden variety anti-depressant to the MSG faithful, working well when the circumstances allowed, but only easing the pain some of the time. Off the court, Crawford also acted as an oven of sorts, bringing necessary warmth and comfort to a local media horde stuck in a Cold War. For many, his corner locker was consistent shelter from the storm. (Note: Not only is Crawford’s exit ironic–classy guy leaving once the turbulence is starting to lessen–it’s endemic of the times on a larger scale: how many people in this economy, finally comfortable with their job description and employer, have had to relocate simply because of business?)

Like the erratic, enjoyable oven that his volume scoring and pretty passing metaphorically define, Crawford brought a necessary positive energy to the most dour era in New York Knickerbocker history. That shouldn’t be forgotten as he heads west to help like-minded gunners form a cesspool of basketball erratica around a seven foot Latvian stork.

As the roster landscape of the Knicks continues to shift, remember the rare nights and memories that were different, when the man whose game resembles an oven cooked up the occasional mini-miracle on 34th street.

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  • Ken

    I liked Jamal, him and David Lee were like the only likable Knicks the last few years.

  • Cizzo

    He needed to go somewhere that has the same dediction to the game as him.

  • http://www.slamonline.com GotHandles?

    Loved Jamal but Knicks never got anywhere with him as their guy. Dude’s got an ill J and some crazy handles though.

  • http://www.twofistedpress.com Pve84

    I wish he got the chance to stay, especially after getting into D’antoni’s system, but his parting was a necessity. I believe in 2010.

  • http://www.another48minutes.blogspot.com Gerard Himself

    now that is shooting. I wonder who will see less minutes when he comes to the Warriors. Azubuike?

  • http://www.another48minutes.blogspot.com Gerard Himself

    now that is shooting. I wonder who will see less minutes when he comes to the Warriors. Azubuike?

  • http://www.another48minutes.blogspot.com Gerard Himself

    whoops, sorry folks.

  • http://www.ravingblacklunatic.blogspot.com Allenp

    Jamal Crawford used to be in my fave five. Now he’s just one of my darkhorse guys.

  • http://twentythreenine.blogspot.com Russ Bengtson

    He will be missed.

  • http://lastknickstanding.blogspot.com Bryan

    Goodbye and good riddance.

  • http://twentythreenine.blogspot.com Russ Bengtson

    Apparently not by everyone.

  • http://double-technical.blogspot.com Zee!

    No Heat fans can even front on the business he gave D Wade in that youtube clip. I think he dropped like 30 of the 52 he scored on Wade. Echgk….

  • http://double-technical.blogspot.com Zee!

    Not sure he would’ve given Kobe the business like that.

  • http://www.myspace.com/fullagrime shabazz

    the bulls never should have traded him

  • http://www.alllooksame.com Tarzan Cooper

    wade is still having nightmares

  • http://www.where-basketball-b-longs.blogspot.com/ B. Long

    J-Creezy is about to go bonker in Golden State.

  • http://www.freewebs.com/betcats BETCATS

    Stupid knicks.

  • that dude

    The Knicks seem so happy in that video

  • http://slamonline.com/ Ryne Nelson

    The Knicks *had* a couple serious scorers. Nate Robinson had his share of half-century explosions last season as well.

  • DAVE

    Damn he was my favorite Knick, great handles and when he got hot u couldn’t stop him,dude will be missed hopefully he fits better in the nellie system

  • Teddy-the-Bear

    I will miss this guy a lot. He brought what he could to the table and for that, Knicks fans will always appreciate what he did. Good luck to him in Golden State.

  • Teddy-the-Bear

    @ Bryan: You’re a f*cking ret@rd. Seriously.

  • 1hush D

    What did he score in that game?

  • netta-lee

    @ 1hush D – he scored 52 that night january 26th 2007

  • Teddy-the-Bear

    Man, I remember in ’99, watching my Knicks get to the finals. It was a beautiful experience. One of my favorite playoff runs ever, I watched every single game. Every single series was I just hope my Knicks can get back to that state one day. Like a said on a different thread, these are the moments that make the NBA worthwhile.

  • Teddy-the-Bear

    *Every single series was hard fought with ebullient victories. Like a said on a different thread, these are the moments that make the NBA worthwhile. ********

  • http://www.myspace.com/yungjames187 J-Smoove

    whooooooa Dwayne Wade got flamed in that game!!!!!!!!

  • MBE18

    Crawford has one of the best handles in the game!!!!

  • thesubwayconnection
  • http://www.triplejunearthed.com/dacre Dacre

    I’m just wondering how he gets court time in Gstate…?

  • JoeMama

    he had a good past but lets talk about the mans future..any good in GS? After all he is a warrior for makin’ it years in the knicks!

  • dogman

    nice tribute, jake.

  • http://www.ravingblacklunatic.blogspot.com Allenp

    That video is the business. People forget that when that dude came into the league he couldn’t shoot! He developed his jumper while with Bulls when he was out for most of a season with an ACL injury. Before that, he was more of a pass first king of player, particularly in college his only year. That dude should get more credit for turning himself into a shooter like that.

  • Boing Dynasty

    I remember when he dropped 50 as a Bull on the Raptors, wearing S.Dots no less.

  • chintao

    Crawford’s talent is undeniable; however, its mercurial nature also is undeniable. I never warmed to him as a personality, since his temperment never seemed to be as volatile as his play. I guess I found him difficult to relate to in that way. Still, that Miami game WAS memorable.