The NBA is a microcosm of the world. The League has benefited from the flair, and personality of coaches and players from across the globe. The distinct style and flavor of the association is very diverse, and that is what makes it so unique to fans both near and far.
Each week we will speak with a different athlete to discuss a wide variety of topics ranging from their favorite players of all-time, to the most important things they do to prepare for games.
As he begins the 2017-18 season—his 18th—we sit with Minnesota’s Jamal Crawford.
When did you know you could be a professional athlete?
My senior year of high school, I was known and I had been making a name for myself. Gary Payton would leave me tickets and that’s when I would think to myself, “Man, I’m going to be here.” That’s what made it like, “I’m going to be here in the NBA.” I used to work at KeyArena where the Sonics played. I was the person that was bringing the stuff up to the concession stand. So I was bringing the food up from the basement to the concession stand, and I would take long trips. It would usually take 15-minutes, and I would make it a 30-40-minute trip because I was in the aisle watching the game.
What was your first NBA game or early NBA game memory?
I used to sneak into the Forum to watch the Lake Show, when I lived in L.A. with my pop. I was born in Seattle, and for fourth, and fifth grade, I went to L.A., then I came back to Seattle and then back to LA for eighth, ninth, and 10th grade. But it was easy to sneak in the Forum, like really easy. I had a friend that worked there—he can’t get in trouble now—but he used to let me and my other partner in, and you now how it is…if you see an open seat, you sit there until someone comes, then you get up and go to the next open seat. We would just bounce around but we were never out of the building.
What are the essential things that you do and need to prepare for gameday?
Obviously you have to know that the family is good, whether at home or on the road, you have to know that everything is good there. I gotta have my phone, my iPad, and I gotta take a nap. I have to pray before I play, and I gotta eat right before I go out there. For a while when I was younger, I would always eat chicken tenders and fries no matter what. When I started maturing and getting further in my career, I switched up my diet and I would get a salad or maybe I’ll get something straight out of the media room…it just depends. I really have to take a nap. I have to…I can’t function without a nap on gameday. When I get to the arena, I do the same routine. Good game, bad game—I always have the same routine.
Who is your favorite player of all-time?
My favorite player of all-time is Mike, but I do have a top-10. It’s crazy because it’s based on periods of my life. I never told anybody this but it’s Michael, Magic, Isaiah, Kobe, AI, GP, T-Mac, Penny, Grant [Hill], but then my 10th is Ticket [Kevin Garnett]. My 11th is a tie between three people: Baron Davis, Mahmoud [Abdul-Rauf] and Nick Van Exel. Ticket is the only big on my list.