NBA Season Restart 2019-20

Jamal Crawford makes debut, leaves with injury

Veteran scorer appeared in his first game since 2019

Brooklyn Nets guard Jamal Crawford had not played in an NBA game in more than a year. He got back in the mix, but his return was ultimately short-lived.

Crawford checked into Tuesday’s game against the Milwaukee Bucks with 4 minutes, 35 seconds in the first quarter, marking his first NBA game action since an April 9, 2019 game against the Dallas Mavericks.

His return did not last long as he suffered a left hamstring injury in the second quarter and left the game. Per the team, he would not return against the Bucks. He has since been ruled out for Wednesday’s game against the Boston Celtics.

Crawford scored five points in five minutes of play, shooting 2-for-4 overall (and 1-for-2 on 3-pointers) along with three assists.

In getting into the game, Crawford — who is 40 years and 137 days old — became the oldest player officially in the season restart. Atlanta Hawks swingman Vince Carter (43 years, 45 days) was the oldest player to play in a game this season overall when he did so on March 11 against the New York Knicks.

In addition, Crawford became the eighth player in NBA history to appear in a game in 20 different seasons. The other players to do so were Vince Carter (22 seasons), Kevin Garnett, Dirk Nowitzki, Robert Parish and Kevin Willis (21) and Kareem Abdul-Jabbar and Kobe Bryant (20). Crawford is also the oldest Nets player to ever appear in a game, breaking the mark set by Cliff Robinson in 2007, who was 40 years and 121 days old when he suited up vs. the New York Knicks.

Milwaukee Bucks guards Eric Bledsoe and Pat Connaughton also made their debut on Tuesday. Bledsoe started for the Bucks, marking his first game action for Milwaukee since a March 8 loss to the Phoenix Suns. He and Connaughton have missed the Bucks’ first two seeding games in Orlando as Milwaukee has gone 1-1 during that span. Both players began practicing with the team in late July after they each reportedly tested positive for the coronavirus in July.

Bledsoe played 18 minutes and scored eight points with four assists, and Connaughton played 17 minutes and also finished with eight points. The Nets held on for the 119-116 win, getting 26 points from Timothe Luwawu-Cabarrot.

Crawford had been out of the league since the 2018-19 season, when he averaged 7.9 points and 3.6 assists in 64 games with the Suns, notably scoring 51 points off the bench (18-for-30 shooting) in the season finale. Crawford was the oldest player in league history to top 50, and also became the only player to score 50 for four different teams.

In his career, Crawford has averaged 14.6 points and 3.6 assists while taking home Sixth Man of the Year Award three times.

Information from The Associated Press was used in this report.