Jamal Crawford used to have a blog at Newsday.com. Then one day he just stopped sending entries. Hey, I said, it's not like we traded you.
But Jamal decided he wasn't going to blog again until a certain record was finally removed from his career. That moment came last night in Atlanta.
Crawford's current team, the Atlanta Hawks, clinched a playoff berth with a thrilling last-second win over the Orlando Magic. For the Hawks, it meant a second straight year in the postseason. For Jamal, it meant so much more.
It ended nine straight years of playing in the NBA without ever being on a playoff team. He had been the longest-tenured current player to never see an X next to his team's name.
After the game last night, the Hawks were given t-shirts with the word, "Clinched" on it. They hung in each locker stall.
"I think I'll just leave it there for a while," Crawford told reporters.
Maybe it'll draw inspiration for a blog, Jamal?
He had gone 667 NBA games without tasting this kind of accomplishment. Up next is the Sixth Man of the Year award, which should be a lock. He is averaging 17.8 points per game as the Hawks' third guard and has been a huge part of Atlanta's success this season.
So who is now the NBA's Biggest Loser? Eddy Curry has gone eight years without playing in a playoff game, but technically he has been on a playoff team, with the 2004-05 Bulls. He was diagnosed with a heart condition late in that season and was forced to sit out the final 13 regular season games and the playoffs. The Bulls lost in the first round.
[Curry, by the way, is supposed to give it a go today in practice to see if he can be available to play on this five-game road trip, which begins tomorrow in Phoenix.]
For anyone keeping score, the Knicks aren't yet officially eliminated, though it's getting close. With 11 games to play, they are 9.5 games out of the final playoff spot. That leaves the tragic number at 2. It could be wrapped up on tomorrow, if the Raptors beat the Nuggets and the Knicks lose to the Suns.
That would make it six straight seasons without a playoff berth. The longest playoff drought in franchise history is seven seasons -- 1959-60 - 1965-66.
With over $30M to spend this summer to rebuild the team, the Knicks are hoping they will get to feel what Crawford is feeling right now.
Oh and, by the way, Jamal. You owe us a blog.