PHOENIX -- Jordan Crawford is not short on confidence and nerves are rarely an issue for him on the basketball court. But the 24-year-old guard admitted he got a monster case of the butterflies when he learned he had been traded to the Boston Celtics on Thursday.
"I was nervous; I didn’t know how to take [the trade news]," Crawford said after joining the team for its shootaround Friday morning at the United Airways Center. "Boston Celtics -- that carries a lot of weight. I was anxious, nervous, hands sweating -- all that."
The Celtics acquired the third-year guard from the Washington Wizards in exchange for Jason Collins and Leandro Barbosa. Crawford flew from the nation's capital to Phoenix (connecting through Atlanta) and arrived here around 2 a.m. Short on sleep, he took his physical this morning and coach Doc Rivers said he'll be on the floor this evening against the Suns.
"We have no choice," quipped Rivers, whose injury-depleted roster is begging for healthy bodies. Rivers hopes Crawford can provide an immediate scoring punch off the bench with his no-conscience offensive approach.
"Listen, he’s a scorer. Most scorers don’t have a conscious -- and that’s a good thing," said Rivers. "What you try to teach him is the different between a good [shot] and a bad one. But you don’t want to take away –- if he’s a great scorer, great scorers make bad shots. So a lot of times you just live with it, unless you think it’s hurting the team."
What does Crawford expect for a role?
"Just to come in, be myself, compete and help this team," said Crawford. "They are doing a great job, pulling out a lot of wins with a depleted lineup. Just come in and try to help with whatever they need."
Crawford said a veteran locker room on a winning team could help him as a young player. He had a much publicized run-in with Kevin Garnett during an offseason pickup game during the lockout -- Garnett reportedly delivering a little smack to Crawford's head after he ran his mouth too much on the floor.
But Crawford downplayed the incident and suggested he's eager to feed of Garnett's intensity.
"It was never a thing. It was just basketball," said Crawford. "Now we’re on the [same] team, hopefully I can help them."
Added Crawford: "I think, just to see [Garnett's] intensity every game, it should help you get up every game, allow you to bring your best. He’s been doing it for this long, so it’ll be great."
Crawford knows his own confidence is key to carving out a role in Boston.
"My confidence is what got me here, it allows me when I’m struggling to still believe in myself," he said. "And when I’m playing good, to do things to help your team win. My confidence, just in an overall sense, it just helps me get through things."
Crawford will wear No. 27, but suggested it has nothing to do with his draft position (the Hawks pegged him with that pick in 2009 out of Xavier University). Crawford has worn Nos. 55 and 15, but 55 was recently assigned to Terrence Williams and No. 15 is retired for Tommy Heinsohn. With slim pickings for anything with a 5, Crawford went to some arithmetic.
"Seven minus two equals five," explained Crawford. "Five is one of my good numbers."
Crawford said he was actually watching TV when he got word that he had been traded to Boston. He was aware of the rumors from his Twitter feed, but didn't quite believe the news until he got the phone call.
Even as he immerses himself in a new game plan, he's excited about his new situation.
"I think it was time [for a change of scenery]," said Crawford. "It's a great opportunity here and I’m looking forward to being a Boston Celtic."