Jamal Crawford Pays $12,000 To Wear #11 For Blazers

12/19/2011 at 6:15 pm By


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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2 Comments so far

  1. MikeD

    on 12/20/2011 - Reply

    This Babbitt seems like a real “team guy”… He says he didn’t like the number anyway & #’s don’t mean much to him, but he extorted $11k from his “teammate”.


    • Jon

      on 12/22/2011 - Reply

      The payment for jersey numbers is a pretty established tradition in the NBA and is meant to shows respect for the guy you are taking the number from. It shows that you are not just coming in and demanding the number from a player with less star power. With the payment both players give up something and it is seen as a trade.

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