After months of lobbying by Los Angeles Clippers head coach Doc Rivers, the NBA has announced that Jamal Crawford has been voted this year’s winner of the Sixth Man of the Year award. It’s his second time winning the award. He was first recognized as the NBA’s best reserve player in 2010 as a member of the Atlanta Hawks.
Crawford has been terrific for the Clippers this season, leading all reserves in scoring per game and scoring per 36 minutes. Coming off the bench in more games (43) that he started in the regular season (23), the 6’5 guard from the University of Michigan averaged 18.6 points, 2.3 rebounds and 3.2 assists on the year.
After J.J. Redick sat out with injury, Crawford stepped up his game and was huge for the Clippers. With an increase in minutes, Crawford put up 20-plus points 23 times this season and 30+ points five times, including a 31-point, 11-assist performance as a reserve, an NBA first.
Originally drafted by the Cleveland Cavaliers and traded on draft night to the Chicago Bulls, Crawford is on his sixth squad in 13 seasons with the Clippers, and at 34 years of age he’s at the pinnacle of a stellar NBA career, Crawford is also one of three active players who own at least three 50 plus points games, is 10th in the NBA in free throw percentage and is tied for most 20 point games off the bench (29). He’s also third in all-time fourth-quarter scoring and is the leader in four-point plays (5).
Congratulations to Crawford and the Clippers team.