Memo to the Basketball Gods: Stop sticking pins in your
And don't act as if you don't know what this is about. Not once in his nine years with the Bulls, Knicks and Warriors have you Higher Powers of Hoops allowed Crawford into a postseason game without a ticket. When Golden State put the finishing touches on its 29-53 record last week, yet another one of his idle springs commenced. "You would think after all this time, I would have gotten at least one chance," Crawford says. "It's weird, right?"
It's more than weird; it borders on historic. Crawford, 29, has played in 597 games without a playoff appearance, the longest current streak and the sixth-longest in league history. At least he's not close to
No, a dry spell like this can only be the work of you Deities of the Dribble. Is it really too much to ask for you to end it? Crawford just wants a playoff experience -- good or bad. Let him feel the pressure of a Game 7 or even the desperation of being down three games to one. "Guys tell me that being in the playoffs is like walking on air," he says. "They say it's unbelievable, that your aches and pains from the season don't even hurt anymore. When you're in the playoffs, it's all you think about. I just want to know what that's like."
Crawford truly has no idea that there are larger forces at work. Every year he keeps his calendar clear from mid-April to late June, although by February it's usually obvious that he'll have no postseason engagements. Even opponents try to keep his spirits up. "We were in Dallas to play the Mavericks, and [assistant coach]
If you're going to try to make the case that Crawford is the cause of this, don't bother. Sure, he launches the occasional ill-advised 25-footer and sometimes plays less than inspired defense, but who in the NBA doesn't? His résumé clearly shows that his failure to pass through the postseason gates is due to powers beyond his control (and we're not just talking about
So why do you Rulers of the Rim torture
Crawford deserves a chance. He has never ripped his teammates or coaches, never tried to pout his way into being traded, never embarrassed his organization with off-the-court scandals. At the moment, he's dealing with a coach,
Attending postseason games as a spectator is, understandably, not Crawford's favorite pastime; until last Saturday he hadn't been to one since his rookie season. That day he drove three hours from his home in Seattle to Portland to see Trail Blazers guard
"It's frustrating, watching, because you want to be in that position yourself," Crawford says. "But I can handle it if it means supporting a friend." On second thought, Basketball Gods, don't worry about lifting the hex. Crawford is strong enough to break it on his own.