Chris Paul acknowledged that he’s stumped.
He can’t figure out a nickname for Jamal Crawford that does the veteran guard justice.
“Not ‘The Microwave’ because that doesn’t really stay hot,” Paul said.
Definitely not befitting of Crawford, who led all scorers with 29 points in 29 minutes, shooting an impressive 10-for-14 from the field, in the Clippers 101-92 win over Memphis.
The 32-year old Crawford, who comes off the bench, hit step-back jumpers, penetrated the lane for layups and made the Clippers’ often-talked about second unit live up to its hype of being one of the best in the league.
“It’s the kind of debut you dream about,” Crawford said. “To play well and win in front of the home crowd, you knew it was going to be a sellout crowd and the energy was going to be there. You just want to play well.”
The Clippers signed Crawford to a multiyear deal in July. In his 12 seasons in the NBA, he has played for Chicago, New York, Golden State, Atlanta and Portland.
“I haven’t felt like this since I was in New York, mentally,” Crawford said. “I feel like I’ve found a home. And for me, the last two years, I basically played on one-year contracts and that’s always tough.”
Crawford, who opted out of his $5.2-million contract with the Portland Trail Blazers, decided he wanted to play for the Clippers after he received a few -- well, a bunch of -- pleading phone calls over the summer.
“The guys that called me -- DeAndre, Chauncey, Chris, Blake, Coach Del Negro, Gary Sacks -- they all told me I was their number one option for free agency at the guard position. When you feel wanted like that and see how the team is going, how you can fit in, it’s very appealing.”
Crawford, the NBA’s Sixth Man of the Year in 2010, apparently couldn’t be happier with his decision.
He said this Clippers team is the most talented squad that he’s ever been on.
“It’s the best team by far,” he said. “When you have guys like Grant Hill, a seven-time All-Star, and Matt Barnes, and Lamar Odom, Ronny Turiaf, all these guys coming off the bench with you, Eric Bledsoe, who is probably a rising star, I think it makes it that much more fun.”