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Clippers' Jamal Crawford has No. 11 connection to franchise history

Jamal Crawford, like Bob McAdoo of the Buffalo Braves, wore uniform No. 11 as franchise went on record winning streak.

December 21, 2012|By Lisa Dillman

Word-association time.

Buffalo Braves?

"I know Bob McAdoo," said the Clippers' Jamal Crawford.

On Friday, he was being asked about his knowledge of the place where it all started for this Clippers' franchise, years ago, in Buffalo. The Buffalo Braves established a franchise-record 11-game winning streak in 1974.

But it's hard to expect the Clippers to know that much about the pioneers of the franchise and achievements from 38 years ago. Especially when Crawford was born in 1980.

"He wore No.11, that's for sure," Crawford said of McAdoo, the league's most valuable player in 1975. "Scoring supreme. He was unbelievable."

After all, the guys in the No. 11 club have to stick together, right?

And wearing No. 11 was so important to Crawford that he once paid then Portland Trail Blazers teammate Luke Babbitt a reported $12,000 to get his number, after days of "negotiations."

Crawford has a way of getting what he wants. If one way doesn't work, there are there are other methods, say, if his jumper isn't falling.

"You've got to be more aggressive," he said. "It's a good thing to be able score different ways, so you just don't have to rely on your jumper," he said. "I've never viewed myself as just a shooter."

Clippers Coach Vinny Del Negro discussed Crawford's adaptability. Crawford has averaged 5.0 assists in the last five games and had a season-high eight at Charlotte.

"He's making the right play, Del Negro said. "We need him to score but he's making the right play, more importantly, because other guys can score when they put two guys on him."

Billups update

There still is no scheduled date for the return of guard Chauncey Billups, who has missed nine games because of an injured left foot.

But he offered some interesting perspective on the difference from when he was out last season with a left Achilles' tendon tear.

"Oh, it's tough," he said. "It's really tough. It's easier this year because I know I will be out there playing at some point. Last year there was just no hope. This year I know I'll be playing."

There is more than a flicker of light at the end of this journey.

"There sure is. A bright one too," Billups said.

lisa.dillman@latimes.com

twitter.com/reallisa

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