Is Jamal Crawford the Biggest All-Star Snub in NBA History?

Published 02/06/2024, 6:20 AM EST

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USA Today via Reuters

Jamal Crawford had one of the best handles ever. When most fans think about Crawford, they think about his time with the Los Angeles Clippers where he awed fans night in and night out with his impressive dribbling, passing, and scoring skills. He was a crucial part of the iconic Lob City Clippers, behind the trio of Chris Paul, Blake Griffin, and DeAndre Jordan.

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J Crossover also has three Sixth Man of the Year awards to his name, tied for the most alongside Lou Williams. Despite all this, the former shooting guard never made an All-Star team once in his 20-year career in the NBA. Is he the biggest All-Star snub ever?

Jamal Crawford’s NBA career got off to a slow start

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Jamal Crawford entered the league in 2000 when the Chicago Bulls drafted him as the 8th overall pick. He struggled to get going in his first three seasons. But in his fourth year, Crawford started most games and showed flashes of brilliance. He averaged 17.3 points, 5.1 assists, and 3.5 rebounds per game that season as per ESPN. He was then traded to the New York Knicks where he stayed consistent with his performances.

Crawford averaged a career-high 20.6 points during his fourth year in New York and he started all 80 games. During the next season, he joined the Golden State Warriors for a small stint. After this, he rarely started games. Crawford then played two seasons for the Atlanta Hawks and one for the Portland Trail Blazers. He won his first Sixth Man award with the Hawks in 2010 averaging 18 points. He also played a crucial role in the Hawks’ playoff runs in both seasons.

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In 2012, Jamal Crawford found a new home when joined the Clippers, where he would spend the next five seasons. Crawford played an important role behind the Clippers star point guard Chris Paul, and their catch-and-shoot threat, JJ Redick. Whenever J Crossover was on the floor, he executed his role to perfection while also entertaining the fans with his flashy moves.

Crawford won two more Sixth Man awards during his time in LA in 2014 and 2016 respectively. As the team aspired for a championship, he helped the team massively in the playoffs. However, the Clippers never reached the Conference Finals due to untimely injuries affecting their top 2 stars.

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His time with the Clippers came to an end in 2017. He then spent one season each for the Minnesota Timberwolves and the Phoenix Suns. Crawford’s playing career ended in 2020 after playing just one game for the Brooklyn Nets. During his time with the Suns, Crawford became the oldest player to score 50 points.

Jamal Crawford was unlucky to not make the All-Star team

In 2007, Jamal Crawford had a career season as he averaged 20.6 points per game. However, the Knicks guard still did not make the All-Star team. The four shooting guards on the East All-Stars that year were Ray Allen, Richard Hamilton, Joe Johnson, and Dwyane Wade. However, both Allen and Hamilton averaged fewer points than Crawford that season. Notably, Allen was a replacement as well. Also, Johnson barely averaged more with 21.7 points per game. Given this, Crawford arguably deserved a spot on this All-Star team.

In the 2008-09 season, Crawford predominantly played for the Warriors. That year, Kobe Bryant was the only SG on the West All-Stars. Other guards on the lineup were Chris Paul, Chauncey Billups, Tony Parker, and Brandon Roy. While Parker and Roy barely averaged more points than Crawford, Billups averaged less. For the 2009-10 season, Johnson and Wade were the only SGs on the East roster. Once again, Iso Joe’s numbers were not much different from Jamal’s. Thus, Crawford missed his biggest window of three years to make the All-Star team.

In the following seasons, Jamal’s numbers dwindled as he rarely started. During the 2013-14 season, he started more for the Clippers and his numbers improved. He finished the season with 18.6 points and 3.2 assists per game to clinch his second Sixth Man award. However, it was impossible to make the West All-Stars that year as Bryant and James Harden took the SG spots.

Jamal Crawford was a true All-Star

Over the years, the NBA has seen some great players never making the All-Star roster. Some of them include Lamar Odom, Ron Harper, Jason Terry, Mike Conley, Cedric Maxwell, and so forth. Jamal Crawford is a part of this list as well. He certainly deserved to be on the lineup for at least three seasons when compared with other stars who made it. However, he might not be the biggest All-Star snub in history especially in terms of numbers. But there is more to it.

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It is no secret that the All-Star weekend is for the fans and so it is a publicity contest. The fans vote for their favorite stars and only the biggest names make the roster. Trae Young’s snub is an example. When Nikola Jokić was selected as the 12th man on LeBron James‘ All-Star team, the reigning NBA MVP was left for last not because he could not help the team win. But because he is not the flashiest. He was not going to make any rim-breaking dunks or finishing lobs.

So, if it was not clear already, the All-Star game is more about putting on a spectacle for the fans. Sure, a lot of fans want to see all the top stars go against each other fiercely. But most fans still want to see some action. With this in mind, Crawford was the biggest All-Star snub ever. As a showman, he would have been the perfect fit for the All-Star games, breaking ankles, finishing with some jelly, and throwing lobs.

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Jamal Crawford popularised the iconic “Shake-and-bake” move. When he used it to great effect during a Christmas Day game, the announcer iconically called it the “Shabbat Shalom”. Even though it left everyone in awe, it was not even the full version. Crawford was waiting to reveal the full version of the move along with some of his other moves on his All-Star debut. Unfortunately, it was never meant to be.

Editorial DisclaimerThe views expressed are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of EssentiallySports.

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Written by:

Bagavathi Eswaran

1,520Articles

One take at a time

My strong passion for basketball started when I was ten after watching an NBA commercial on TV. I began tuning into games for inspiration and to learn from the best. So I have been closely following the league for more than a decade now.
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Edited by:

Aakash Nair

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