From the moment Jae Crowder put on a Celtics uniform, you just knew that the guy was going to play with absolutely everything he's got. Since coming to Boston last year, Crowder has been the most improved player on the team and one of the most important guys in the rotation. He's starting to garner a lot of attention around the league for being a hard-nosed "do anything it takes to win" guy.
Former NBA player and champion Shane Battier, who throughout his career was known as the ultimate defender and glue guy, had some high praise for Crowder, calling him one of the elite glue guys in the league. Via The Players'Tribune:
He is an amazing glue guy. With his energy and his toughness and fearlessness he gives a young team in Boston a great amount of heart. There is not one aspect of Jae Crowder’s game that leaves you in awe, but he does everything well and the Celtics are better when he is on the floor. It’s easy to see why Brad Stevens likes leaving him out there for heavy minutes.
Crowder reacted to Battier's comments, saying it was an honor to be considered an elite glue guy. Via Jay King of Masslive.com:
"(Battier) made a living off being a glue guy," continued Crowder, who said the All-Star break provided "much-needed" rest for his sprained ankle. "It means a lot. It means my hard work is trying to pay off as much as possible. I'm getting recognition but at the same time we're winning and I'm trying to contribute the way I know how to contribute. And that's play hard and do the things I do. But that means a lot coming from him because he made a living doing it."
Crowder clearly took the title "glue guy" as a major compliment. Asked if that's how he wants to be known, he gave a typical glue guy type of answer.
"I just want to be a basketball player," said Crowder. "Glue guy, whatever you want me to be I'll be it. I just want to win at the end of the day."
In the midst of a breakout season, Crowder is enjoying some of the spotlight of being known as the Celtics leader on the floor. Ever since Kevin Garnett left Boston, the Celts were missing an emotional leader on the floor, especially on defense. With Crowder's emergence, that void has been filled with his heart and impact. Night in and night out, Crowder takes the toughest defensive assignment on the wing and has shown he is not afraid of anyone.
Whether it's getting on the floor for loose balls (Cowens style), hitting big threes, or playing lockdown defense on the perimeter, Crowder has been willing to do anything to win and has carved himself into the role of a leader for the Cs. Every successful team needs a glue guy and it's comforting to know that we have one of the best in the business on our team with Jae Crowder.
Image Credit: Jim Davis/Globe Staff
Follow Kevin Yazhari on Twitter @KevKevYazhari Kevin Yazhari 2/19/2016 09:23:00 AM Tweet Edit