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Jae Crowder: ‘I know I look like a genius’ after signing with Suns

Jae Crowder #99 of the Phoenix Suns signals possession against the Denver Nuggets in Game Four of the Western Conference second-round playoff series at Ball Arena on June 13, 2021 in Denver, Colorado. (Photo by Dustin Bradford/Getty Images)

Forward Jae Crowder was just two wins away from winning an NBA championship last season with the Miami Heat.

So when he opted this offseason to take his talents to the Phoenix Suns, a team that hadn’t been in the postseason in a decade, there were some questions surrounding his decision.

But after returning to his second conference finals in as many seasons following a sweep of the Denver Nuggets, Crowder is certainly feeling like he made the right move.

“I look like a genius, I know I look like a genius a little bit with my decision,” Crowder told reporters Sunday night. “When I made the decision you should have saw how many text messages I got like, ‘What am I doing? Why are you going to Phoenix? They haven’t made the playoffs in 10 years.’

“I just feel like I know what type of group these guys were. I felt like they were hungry, they wanted to do some special things and I just wanted to be a part of it.”

Crowder has provided another veteran presence for a young Suns team this season. He’s averaging 11.7 points, 5.1 rebounds and 1.9 assists in the playoffs and brings a physical presence to the court.

“I just feel like it’s all coming together, not only for myself but for our team and for our organization because everybody’s on the same page,” Crowder said. “We’re all fighting for the same goal. We got a lot of selfless guys on our team and you see the way we play each and every night.

“We play for one another and it’s definitely beneficial for us to win games, especially in the postseason. … To keep us going, I feel like it’s going to beneficial for us to just stay together and be collective, locked in and taking it one game at a time.”

And as for his former team? The Heat saw a quick first-round exit after a sweep by the Milwaukee Bucks, making his decision look that much better.

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