DALLAS — Jae Crowder’s NBA career has landed him in Boston, Cleveland and now Utah, but the seventh-year forward can’t forget where it all started.
Crowder returned to American Airlines Center to face the Dallas Mavericks on Sunday as a member of the Jazz with a positive outlook. He started in the place of Derrick Favors, who sat with left knee soreness. Crowder ended with 15 points, six rebounds, a steal and a block on 7-for-13 shooting in 35 minutes as the Jazz won their third straight, 113-104.
Despite being traded from the organization four years ago, the former Marquette star has no hard feelings toward the franchise.
“I always think about it. I’m always thankful,” said Crowder, who spent his first two-and-a-half seasons in Dallas from 2012-14. “Always feels good to go play those guys, especially to see familiar faces around the organization.
“Always thankful and always got a good relationship with those guys.”
Mavericks coach Rick Carlisle continues to hold a high level of respect for his former player and has stated previously that he regrets ever including him in the 2014 package that sent him to Boston.
Dallas traded Crowder, Jameer Nelson, Brandan Wright, plus a first and second round pick to Boston for Rajon Rondo and Dwight Powell.
“He’s the kind of guy you never want to get rid of or let go in a trade, but things happen in this league and he’s been a winning, productive player at every stop that he’s been,” Carlisle said. “I know that he’s very well thought of here and I know that he was very well thought of in Boston, because I know Danny (Ainge) and Brad (Stevens) very well so I make the assumption that it’s the same in Utah. He’s the kind of player you love to watch because he goes hard.”
LESSON LEARNED: After completing his five-game suspension for violating terms of the NBA/NBPA Anti-Drug Program, Jazz forward Thabo Sefolosha returned to the lineup for the Dallas Mavericks game on Sunday in the American Airlines Center. During the suspension, Sefolosha participated in preseason games, but wasn’t allowed to be in attendance for regular season games, but says he’s now ready to move on. “Rules are rules and you’ve got to go with the flow and move on,” Sefolosha said.Comment on this story
LEADERS OF THE NEW SCHOOL: Obviously, Utah Jazz coach Quin Snyder is accustomed to seeing rising star Donovan Mitchell on a daily basis, but he respects the NBA’s young leaguewide talent as well — notably Mavericks rookie Luka Doncic. Snyder said he first learned about Doncic from his former assistant coach Igor Kokoškov — now head coach of the Phoenix Suns — after he coached him during the Slovenian men’s national team. “I’ve seen him play a lot and pulled for him when he played for Slovenia, and he’s going to be a heck of a player in this league,” Snyder said of Doncic.