NBA / Feb 27, 2009 / 6:20 pm

Why is Jamal Crawford being benched?

Jamal CrawfordJamal Crawford (photo. Reebok)

Anybody who’s followed Don Nelson over the years shouldn’t be surprised anymore by his personnel decisions. Just ask Anthony Morrow: The rags-to-kinda-riches rookie has been a starter dropped 20-plus points and a barely-used backup this season, sometimes going back and forth in the course of a week.

But Nellie’s latest move — benching a healthty Jamal Crawford for no apparent reason — seems even weird for him. Crawford’s agent, Aaron Goodwin, took the issue to the San Francisco Chronicle before tonight’s Warriors/Bobcats game:

“What is the message that Nelson is sending to a young team? ‘Don’t play to win?'” Goodwin said. “What is the message he is sending to the fans who work hard to pay for Warriors tickets in order to see them win?

“Jamal is not injured, and not only is he averaging 19 points per game, but he scored 50 points on the (Bobcats) for a win earlier this season.”

Nelson announced this week that he will begin resting his veterans “here and there” in an effort to give the team’s youngsters more playing time, but the coach also said it would be difficult to sit out Stephen Jackson because the Warriors were thin at small forward.

It’s been a foregone conclusion that the Warriors are headed for the Lottery, so in a way it makes sense to work on developing guys like Marco Belinelli, C.J. Watson and Anthony Randolph. But it’s not like Crawford is a creaky vet taking up space. He turns 29 next month, and the team has said they want Crawford to be part of its future backcourt alongside Monta Ellis. Looking to the future is one thing, but you still want to at least try to win games. And not to mention, Crawford supposedly is part of Golden State’s future, so who’s really suffering here?

Then again, since Crawford can opt out of his deal and become a free agent this summer, maybe Nellie is working in the interest of whoever is cutting JC’s checks. There’s no better way to alienate a highly-paid star who’s playing in a system that’s perfect for him and convince him to leave than to piss him off by not playing him. Baron Davis can relate.

Source: San Francisco Chronicle

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  • Mikey F Baby

    And more importantly, he’s on my fantasy team. Get your shit together Nelson!

  • Alan

    Don Nelson is horrid. He has no proper rotation and the Warriors are setup to fail under his watch. He should have been developing his younger players seasons ago.

  • Max

    Nellie is poison for any player who craves routine and/or a sense of stability. With that said, this might not be completely him — there are some theories that this is being done to keep Jamal from signing again and save the team some money. Given how rough the economy is, and how slimy management is, it wouldn’t surprise me if that were the case.

  • Will

    This is just CRAZY! I’m on the East Coast and have been staying up late as hell to watch the Warriors. The Warriors are my Team, but I know they are not going to the playoffs and yet still I stay up just to see Jamal crack someones ankle or SJ hit that slow ass jumper in whoever s face. Now I have to chance staying up late as FUCK not knowing who is going to play?!?!?! Fuck You Nelson!

    Damn I hope he don’t opt out especially if we go the lottery. Can you imagine:

    S Jackson
    (Insert Lottey Power Forward here, I mean a BANGER!)
    Beatris (sp is off I know)

    Belianeli (See Beatris sp)
    (insert pass only PG Brevin Knight type cat)

    Cj Watson is Ass. I just dont like him for some reason.
    Randolf will never get it. He is the type we have in every hood…………you know what Im talking about.If you don’t then I cant explain.

  • doc

    U know Nellie got quirky ways.

  • LakeShow84

    Yes i can imagine that lineup will.. and they are defenseless..

    My warning shot that Nelson was in the senial years of his coaching was during those upset playoffs doo was trying to do press interview with beers in his hand lol now being from the bay i can feel that.. but i just thought to myself “in 2-3 years that team will be in pieces”.. coaches wouldnt do dumb shit like that if they took what they were doing seriously.. IMO of course..

    I still never saw them getting rid of Jason Richardson immediately after and then dumping B-Dizzle the very next year..

  • LakeShow84

    And i do feel the agent about fans using their hard earned money to see the marquee players..

    Look at that Will fella.. stays up just to watch Crawford and S-Jack..

    At least have a good reason.. you dont bench your second best playmaker if.. he is.. he is.. shit that Audrey O’day shot is killing me.. what was i saying??

  • Luigi

    yo im not sure if this is the right article to write this on but

    Im watching Washington plays the Bulls. n i see Barack Obama sitting courtside…socializing with the fans n sitting next to this 2-3yr old who has NO clue who hes sitting next to. while everybody would kill for that seat..

    im just sayin..obama is a baller. watching games courtside instead of the box…shows to u what kind of man he is

  • http://GEE2.COM GEE…I, i, I!

    Yea Nellie just try whatever come to his mind. Err than Max said was true.

  • Gerard

    ^Did you mean Beatrix, as in Beatrix Potter?

  • Will

    This is almost as bad as what the Knicks do…………

  • inmypjs

    I’m glad Crawford is getting benched. I actually wished for that a couple of weeks ago…even put him on IR list, like make up some kind of injury like blue balls. I’d like to see more of the young guys. Unfortunately, he’s on one of my fantasy teams too but i’m not going to win that team anyway. Crawful is not the Warrior’s future. Belinelli is better than him. Trade him in the offseason to the Wizards for Arenas!

  • Anthony

    Lol @ JC opting out

    Leaving a decent team and 20 milli on the table when economy is in the shitter would make perfect sense, wouldn’t it?

  • Anthony

    Trade Bad Porn for a power forward.

  • Celts Fan

    @Will, wasn’t Brandon Wright supposed to be an ambidextrous PF that can block shots? Has he not been good or just developing slowly? I know dude should only be a jr. in college now, so still young, but figured he’d be doing somthing by now and was supposed to be your PF of the future (hell, you guys traded JRich for him straight up) what’s his deal man?

  • Will

    @ Celts Fan

    BW had a shoulder injury, so he has been out for a few weeks, but before that it has been hard finding him mins because Nelson plays S Jackson and C Maggette at PF. Which IMO is very stupid.

    I wish they would give him some time at PF when he gets back because he could be a good fit for a running team at PF. At least he would grab the power rebounds that S Jackson does not grab.

  • http://www.dimemag.com Austin Burton

    @inmypjs — Did you just say Belinelli is better than Crawford? Were you joking?

  • flavur

    I think it’s a great idea just rest one veteran a time I mean maybe capt jack should have sat out yesterday and Crawford played and put magette at the starting small forward but overall I think resting the veterans is a good idea because winning games is good for the rooks but if they don’t get a chance to play how happy are they gonna be. Nelly is a players coach alright guys he likes making players happy and knows what’s best for his players so get off his back damn.

  • http://www.myspace.com/lilpenny23 JHov

    Don Nelson is an alcholic and an idiot! If you remember this is the guy who got Webber shipped out of town after he won R.O.Y. Webb didn’t have a problem with any coach in his career except Nelson. And Dime you guys showed us the video of Warrior practice(when they were kicking basketballs in the stands)Nelson wasn’t even there! Plus Nelson is gonna sit “Captain Jack” for the next game!(as reported by ESPN) makes no sense..plus he’s f’ing up my fantasy team!(I got Beidrins and Jackson) Nellie needs to step down..let’s see Mullin step up to the plate.