Do you recall when Jae Crowder was so incensed over Celtics fans cheering soon-to-be free agent Gordon Hayward that he complained afterward?
Well, that’s understandable; the man has pride. Anyway, Crowder has confined his energy since then to the Celtics, and has been fine with being a role player on a team that goes eight or nine deep.
Gary Washburn of the Boston Globe spoke with Crowder about his place on the Celtics and his thoughts on the season:
Crowder’s numbers aren’t eye-popping. He is averaging 13.5 points, 5.7 rebounds, and shooting 39.8 percent from the 3-point line this season. His scoring has dipped a little from last season because he has taken 1.3 fewer shots. Those numbers won’t get him elected to an All-Star team, but Crowder brings a toughness and grit the Celtics lost when they traded Kevin Garnett and Paul Pierce to Brooklyn.
“I don’t put a ceiling on my game,” he said. “Once the opportunity presents itself, I try to just step up to the opportunity. But we run a lot of stuff for Isaiah on the court and that just limits me on the offensive end a lot, so it is what it is.”Yet there are Celtics faithful craving to add Gordon Hayward, the Jazz swingman and former Brad Stevens pupil at Butler, or wanting the club to trade for the Bulls’ Jimmy Butler, Crowder’s former Marquette teammate, or even try again for the Pacers’ Paul George.
Crowder hears this, stews, and is offended. But he understands that his style will never be truly appreciated by numbers folks.
“Of course it motivates me,” Crowder said when hears the names of his possible replacements. “A lot of talk has been said about me not being here. But, at the same time, it’s a part of this business and I’m aware of that.”