Arguably his most undervalued skill, Crawford (pictured below, with Matt Barnes) can be used anywhere on the floor. That versatility was a part of him getting the most all-around minutes in the league since 2007-08. He’s all skill, yes. But he’s also, mercifully, OK with a mid-range jumper. Still, while many found Crawford hard to reckon with, head coach Scott Brooks was steadfast in not playing anybody his whole NBA career. Brooks even benched Crawford a couple of times as he learned how to play for his teammates in Washington.
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Part of Crawford’s success came from the team-first mentality Brooks instilled in the Wizards. They have a different sort of coach in the NBA than what we’re used to. An understated personality who eschews the “Godfather” title (despite his Game 7 victory over the Celtics), Brooks has struck a chord with D.C. Wizards.
Brown can never sell “mom and pop” as a better storyline than Brooks. Brooks is no Kobe Bryant, Phil Jackson or Michael Jordan, when it comes to “men with egos”. He’s a much more laid-back dude who has stayed around D.C. for 30 years, has had his own business with investors and a family, is a married man who happens to run a successful basketball team. He’s got a great personality.
But as Cousin Butchso once said, “People don’t make too many good investments without first learning how to be good at something else.” The Washington Wizards’ “brotherhood” bit, has helped Brooks and the Wizards become a “great team,” in the words of Carter.
Plus, Brooks has always run his team with a wide variety of shooting options, meaning Crawford doesn’t have to exert his full impact in isolation. He just has to be good, which he is. When the Wizards have no choice but to call on the man who has led them to the playoffs and the conference finals, we tend to get good basketball.