Earlier Tuesday, we noted that a Phoenix-area broadcaster tweeted that Portland Trail Blazers guard Jamal Crawford was engaged in some dialogue with Phoenix Suns coach Alvin Gentry and broadcaster Eddie Johnson during a Monday night game in Phoenix. The broadcaster tweeted that Crawford told the pair that he "needs to be here in Phoenix" with one of his teammates "nearby."
Crawford gave an interview to John Canzano of 750 AM The Game in which he explained his side. Here are a few clips. Link to audio here.
"I've known Alvin Gentry for years. It was just a conversation between me and him as far as, they were one of the teams that came after me a bit last year. I got some shots going and I was just talking trash to him, like, 'Hey, you could have had me.' It was more of a game type situation, tongue-in-cheek, I was shocked it got that much attention. I've known him for years. I know coach Cartwright, his assistant, for years. It was just a running conversation during the game. There was nothing malicious or crazy about it whatsoever as was reported.
"Him, or whoever tweeted it, couldn't name one teammate who heard me say that. It's impossible. That wasn't the conversation... No teammate could say that.
"It's been a rough year. It's not a year I anticipated for myself and the team. I know anything can happen in the summer. A lot of the conversation has been had because of the opt-out that I had. I've said over and over again I'm not sure what I'm going to do. But if I did opt out for whatever reason, it doesn't mean I want to leave... I'm not down on Portland at all. I've really enjoyed the fans, the organization and my teammates... If I did become a free agent this summer I would give Portland a long look if they had interest in bringing me back.
"I've never been one to run when things got tough... I wasn't even going to respond to it but more and more people were tweeting about it. Like, 'You turned your back on us.' That's not the case at all. I've played as hard and the best I could give in every circumstance I've stepped on the court. Whether it's not playing this game, or playing this position, or not playing much, I've tried my best. Those conversations, talking trash, that's part of the game."
-- Ben Golliver | firstname.lastname@example.org | Twitter