Many grew up wanting to imitate the game style or play of Jamal “Crossover” Crawford. In 2001, Crawford who many believed would feel at the top of the world, instead was feeling under duress and extremely anxious. After having an up-and-down rookie season, still hadn’t cracked the starting lineup in Chicago. However, he still managed to catch the famous Michael Jordan’s eye. Over time it appears Jordan grew a liking to his game and decided to take him under his wing, according to the Boardroom.
“My dad had told me that Michael Jordan liked my game,” Crawford told Boardroom. “But I didn’t believe him. How would he know?”
Unrelated, Crawford’s father, Clyde Crawford, happen to be friends with one of Jordan’s closest friend. Therefore, they were able to make that connection between the two and the rest is history. Crawford admitted since Jordan began watching closely and admiring his game the Chicago Bulls didn’t lose since.
“From that moment on we didn’t lose one single game,” Crawford said. “For two straight summers, we never lost. Never.”
For the better or worse, Crawford’s ego began to swell and his confidence, as well. This only made him more dangerous of a player than he already was.
“I could feel the leap in real-time, because playing with him, you’re always on edge,” Crawford stated. “He’s the best player ever and he’s giving you confidence. He’s coming to you for game-winning shots. Do I have the GOAT’s approval? My confidence was on a trillion at that point. So I knew, going into that season, I was going to take off.”
Unsettling Events for Jamal Crawford
Crawford suffered an ACL injury that set him back just weeks before the start of his second season in the NBA. As he began rehab and tried to return the encouragement from his peers
“At that time, the ACL was looked at like the Achilles injury is now,” Crawford said. “You had to do everything perfect just to come back.”
However, to lift his spirits his close friend, William Wesley, knew how to raise the spirit of Crawford. He understood he couldn’t allow this injury to derail his future and career, yet, it was visible that the I jury began affecting Crawford mentally. What transpired next many wouldn’t believe.
“I was hurt but it was before I had surgery,” Crawford said. “Uncle Wes was sitting outside of a black truck, when I finally get to him a window rolled down and it’s Jay-Z. I literally backed up and said, ‘Oh, shit!‘”
Jay-Z meets Crawford
Prior to Crawford’s surgery, the profound and well-recognized artist Jay-Z was also working on the final touches of the classic album, The BluePrint. Crawford idolized Jay-Z and was a fan of his since he’s been in high school. Crawford fell in love with Hov’s first studio album ever, Reasonable Doubt.
“He was bumping Reasonable Doubt every day,” Crawford said. “That was my introduction to Jay. When I moved back to Seattle in 1996, that was my reintroduction to the city, and I was playing that album all the time. So it was like me and Jay dropped at the same time. 1996 for me was when my life changed and I really started to believe I could make it to the league.”
Jay-Z embraced and recognized him and used him as inspiration moments throughout the album to create what many recognize today as a masterpiece. One day, Crawford will get the respect he rightfully deserves.