Guard Jamal Crawford admits he was surprised when the Brooklyn Nets called him and offered a contract for the remainder of the season. Crawford, who turned 40 years this past March, scored 51 points in his last game of the last season but no team wanted to give him a contract in the offseason.
Several Nets players -- including Kyrie Irving and Kevin Durant -- won't be with the team when the NBA season resumes in Orlando and the team was forced to look at alternative options. "It didn't feel real in some sense," Crawford said during a Wednesday video call with reporters after participating in his first practice with the Nets, as quoted on ESPN.
"I was going to sleep that night, and I woke up like, 'Did this really happen, or was I dreaming? Did the Nets really call and I really signed a contract with them or agreed to a contract?' And it was real. "I thank God.
I thank all the people that supported me, and it's a blessing, it really is, because I've been on the outside for a year, and once it gets to a certain point, you're not sure that call's going to happen, and you kind of have to face that reality as well."
Crawford admits it wasn't easy being a free agent
Crawford thought he would be a on roster for the beginning of the 2019/2020 season but that didn't happen. Throughout the season, several NBA players were urging teams to sign Crawford as they absolutely believed he belonged on an NBA roster.
"To be honest with you, I went through a range of emotions," Crawford admitted. "I was frustrated at the beginning. I didn't understand. I didn't know what happened. I was like, 'Well, character-wise, I just won teammate of the year,' so I think that part's solid as far as being in the locker room.
Obviously, I had a different role as far as leadership last year, but when the time came, like, 'Hey, go play,' I was able to still show I can play at a high level, so I didn't understand it. "But at that point, I just took it the other way.
I was like, 'If God said your last game is a 51-point game off the bench, then that's a heckuva exit.' So I try to find the peace within that, and I got a chance to spend time with my family. But I'm so happy to be back."