It usually makes for an interesting situation when a player changes teams and there is already someone on the new team wearing their preferred jersey number. When Donovan McNabb arrived in Minnesota he worked out a deal with punter Chris Kluwe so he could continue wearing #5. New England Patriots tight end Aaron Hernandez didn’t have a problem giving up #85 when Ochocinco came to town. Philadelphia Eagles legend Randall Cunningham responded this way when asked if he would be willing to let the newly acquired Steve Smith wear #12.
Veteran guard Jamal Crawford recently signed with the Portland Trailblazers. If you’re a Blazers fan and are used to seeing Luke Babbitt in #11 you’re probably wondering why Crawford has it on in the above picture. Oregon Live has the details.
Crawford bought the number from Babbitt after a series of playful back-and-forth negotiations that spanned multiple days and involved Blazers captain LaMarcus Aldridge as a mediator. Babbitt told Aldridge he was open to a change and would think it over. The next morning, Crawford reached out to Babbitt in a text message and the two exchanged figures in a series of back-and-forth bargaining sessions.
No. 11 cost Crawford $12,000.
“That was a hard bargain, a tough bargain to get it,” Crawford said, laughing, after the Blazers’ practice on Saturday. “Luke could have been a lawyer … he got me.”
“He low-balled me,” Babbitt said, laughing. “So I came back with something and we met in the middle.”
If wearing #11 means Crawford drops more buckets and helps the Blazers win games then all is good at the Rose Garden. Babbitt gets a few dollars in his pocket and appears to not really be all that pressed about what number is on his jersey.
“Jamal’s a veteran, so he deserves it,” Babbitt said. “Besides, I didn’t even like 11. I don’t put a whole lot of stock into the number you wear and a number isn’t worth that much to me. So I’m a happy man. I think Jamal’s a happy man. It’s a win-win.”
Babbitt will be suiting up in #8 this season.
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