Crawford, who at 36 is the oldest player to win the award, averaged 14.2 points and 2.3 assists in 79 games this season. He came off the bench in 74 of those games. He ranked second in the NBA in free throw percentage (90.4).
Crawford won the award in 2009-10 (with the Hawks) and 2013-14 (Clippers) and is the only player to win with multiple teams. Detlef Schrempf, Ricky Pierce and Kevin McHale, who each won the award twice, are the only other players to win it multiple times.
"I've never made an All-Star Game, but I've always had my peers' and coaches' respect around the league," Crawford said at a news conference. "So for me, at the end of the day, 10 years from now, 15 years from now, I'll just wonder, 'Will the new fan remember me? Will they remember what I did in the game?'
"Hopefully, it is in a positive nature, and hopefully, this is one of those things for the kids that are coming up that are 9 or 10 years old to say, 'Hey, I don't have to start. I can still have an impact on the bench.' Obviously, starting is the cool thing, and everybody wants to do it. Hopefully, this can inspire a new generation of players."
Crawford had 51 first-place votes and 341 points from 130 sportswriters and broadcasters throughout the United States and Canada. Golden State's Andre Iguodala finished second (288 points), and Oklahoma City's Enes Kanter (182) was third.
To be eligible for the award, players have to have come off the bench in more games than they started.
Crawford was the Clippers' third-leading scorer, with 15.6 points per game, during a 45-game stretch without Blake Griffin in the lineup. For the entire season, Crawford scored more points in the fourth quarter (341) than any other Clippers player. In February alone, Crawford averaged 19.5 points.
"I've never cheated the game. I've played every single day of my life," Crawford said. "I dreamed about being in this position. I used to listen to music and wonder if pros listened to that music, whatever it was, to be in this position. So I just don't take it for granted."
ESPN's Marc Stein contributed to this report.