As Jamal Crawford lingered in the Clippers' locker room late Friday night, two children darted across the carpet while two others swiveled in oversized chairs in front of Matt Barnes' locker.
Crawford sat on a counter contemplating the scene and a season that has seemed like child's play for the veteran shooting guard.
"I haven't had this much fun," he said, "since high school."
Crawford is among the big men on the Clippers' campus, leading the NBA in bench scoring and building buzz as the probable sixth man of the year and a possible All-Star reserve.
He was averaging 16.5 points per game before Saturday and had led his team in scoring 10 times in 33 games, though those numbers were of secondary importance.
Crawford was far more wowed by the Clippers' 26-8 record and recent 17-game winning streak. That kind of success speaks to someone who had never previously won more than seven consecutive games in his pro career.
"Crazy, right?" said Crawford, who spent his early NBA days on some laughably bad Chicago Bulls and New York Knicks teams. Even when Crawford enjoyed two relatively successful seasons in Atlanta, the Hawks never made it past the Eastern Conference semifinals.
Clippers' Jamal Crawford having the time of his life
Los Angeles Times | Jan 6