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June 25, 2018

Jamal Crawford

Santa Monica, California

JAMAL CRAWFORD: Like I said, it's up there with any award I've ever gotten, because you're not trying to win this award, you're just trying to be solid. You're trying to be a good vet. You're trying to let your teammates know you have their back on and off the court. I think it's a testament to character. You have the team's best agenda, and you have your teammates' best agenda. It's about them, so I'm very, very proud of this.

Q. Let's talk about the city you come from [Seattle], where you learned to play basketball and what that passion of not only you but those who come behind you, what that brings to that area? Talk a little bit about that. Is that being a good teammate some of the lessons you learned back there as well?
JAMAL CRAWFORD: For sure. When I was growing up and coming up, guys like Gary Payton, Shawn Kemp, Doug Christie, they really took me under their wing. I'm a 16-year-old kid playing at the time, and it gave me hope. It made me think if these guys who are superstars in the NBA believe in me, I can do it.

I always said if I'm in a position, I want to go back and do the same thing for the next generation. So seeing a Brandon Roy, Isaiah Thomas, Dejounte Murray, or Zach LaVine, and all these guys coming up, Nate Robinson, all these guys coming up behind me, and they're doing the next thing for the next generation, and I think that's what makes our community special, especially at a time when we don't have the Sonics. Because I had those guys, like I could go see Gary Payton at Key Arena. Now that's where we do my Pro-Am so these guys can see NBA basketball and reach out and touch a Kevin Durant or a Blake Griffin or a Kyrie Irving. Those are the guys who came to the Pro-Am, so, yeah, that's why I do it. Thank you.

Q. When you look back at your career, I mean, you still have tons of time to play. Let's be honest, let's call it what it is?
JAMAL CRAWFORD: And I'm reenergized now. I can't wait for this year to be honest with you.

Q. In all fairness, I've seen that. I've seen you play with such zest and vibrancy. I see you playing for another five or 10 years. When you look forward in your playing career, your personal life as well, those two kind of run together. When you look back at it, what is the best of what you've given, and what do you see ahead of you?
JAMAL CRAWFORD: To be honest with you, the best is I'm living a dream. Like if you had told me when I was 15 years old I'd be in the NBA and play against Michael Jordan or Karl Malone or Allen Iverson and Kobe Bryant, and these players know my name. It's like, are you serious? This is a dream. I don't take it for granted. I'm not jaded. I don't think I'm a certain level because I reached here. I'm just actually living the dream. Like I said, hopefully I can give those same kids hope that it can happen to you as well.

Q. You just mentioned you're reenergized. How were you able to sustain yourself as a veteran through all these years?
JAMAL CRAWFORD: I think staying in love with the game. I think that at this level there are so many different things you can get into. You can get into music, movies, and you can get into fashion, whatever it is. You should do that. But for me I never lost track of what was important to me, which was basketball.

The night before I got married, I had a bachelor party with 3,000 people at the gym at 12 at night. So I've never gotten sidetracked. I think staying in love with the game. When you're in love with it, you'll do everything you can to play. I always play every single day. I'm always in shape and always ready to go. So that's part of it.

Q. I've been interviewing you over the years with the Clippers and I just want to commend you on the award, and also to say how did you learn to have so much humility, and you've always been like the best and nicest interviewed person and just so humble.
JAMAL CRAWFORD: I'm not sure it's something I learned. I think it was just in me to be honest with you. I've always treated everybody with respect. Whether it was a guy worth a million dollars when I was in high school or the guy on the street, I always felt like I could learn something from anybody. And I always felt like every human life was just as important as the next. So I was never like, oh, you're up here, I'm going to treat you this way. You're down here, I'm going to say something crazy to you. That was never me.

People that watched me grow up from five, six, seven years old said I was always the same way. So for me, it's just being me. It's not an act or anything. I'm very, very thankful that I grew up that way because now I can teach my kids the same way, and I'm very excited about that.

Q. I got a chance to catch up with you after the G League Pro-Am game last summer. I'm just curious, you mentioned love of the game and that passion being the thing that's sustained to you. Are there any stories of summer that have energized you in a way, the stories of guys that you've seen play or just playing in the Summer League?
JAMAL CRAWFORD: Yeah, definitely. I think you see these guys that are playing, and some of them are so talented. Some of them should be in the NBA and they're not. But they'll go across the world to play basketball. I think it's inspiring. I get a lot of inspiration watching kids.

My son is eight years old, and he plays. I'm watching kids and how they interact and the pure love for the game.

It's no politics and no nothing but just pure passion and love. I think being around that young group is unbelievable, for me especially. I just don't take it for granted. Obviously, I'm not going to play another 18 years. So at some point you want to look back and say I got the most out of it and really enjoyed it. So for me, I'm just stuck in the moment.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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