Quinton Crawford brings chill, yet determined demeanor to Summer Suns

Jul 6, 2023, 8:00 PM

(Old Bridge Township Public Schools Twitter photo)...

(Old Bridge Township Public Schools Twitter photo)

(Old Bridge Township Public Schools Twitter photo)

Summer League coach Quinton Crawford may be new to the Phoenix Suns’ coaching staff, but that’s not to say he doesn’t know a thing or two about basketball in the desert.

Well before joining the coaching world, Crawford was focused on putting the ball in the basket as a member of the Arizona Wildcats from 2011-13 that included a Sweet Sixteen run.

But it was the opportunity Crawford got post-playing career that led him to where he is today.

“I had a tremendous experience working with Sean Miller and that staff they had there, Book Richardson,” Crawford told reporters on Thursday. “Those guys took care of me and helped me learn and grow as a coach. … That summer, they let me sit in the video room with the managers and learn how to cut video, which allowed me to get my first job as a graduate assistant at Pepperdine which allowed me to get my next job in the NBA.

“I owe a lot to those guys. … They helped mold me and basically gave me a head start in coaching. A big thank you to those guys down there in Tucson.”

With a foot in the coaching door, Crawford began his ascent first as a graduate assistant at Pepperdine before joining the Sacramento Kings in an assistant video coordinator role.

Shortly thereafter, he would cross paths with then-Orlanda Magic head coach Frank Vogel, who was looking for an assistant video coordinator at the time. It was an “automatic bond” between the two.

And while their NBA journeys included other stops along the way, Crawford and Vogel now embark on their third stint together following a stretch with the Los Angeles Lakers from 2019-22.

Task No. 1 for Crawford? Getting the most out of his Summer Suns squad, something Vogel should have confidence in having watched the assistant coach firsthand as the Lakers’ Summer League coach in 2021.

It might only be a few days into Summer League preparation, but Jordan Goodwin and others on the roster are already seeing the chill, yet determined demeanor Crawford brings to the table.

But just because Crawford, 32, is a younger coach, doesn’t mean he’ll shy away from trying to get the best out of his players.

“I’m a human being like everybody else. they’re looking at me as a young coach, which I am a young coach,” Crawford said Thursday. “My style is I treat people with respect. I don’t think I have to get after everybody every practice, but I do have demands that have to be met. Part of that is playing hard and playing with effort and exerting themselves.

“If they’re not doing what I’m asking and I have to get on somebody, I will. I have no issues doing that. I’ve done that for a long time. I think that relationship that we build throughout this process makes our bond stronger. … I want to make lifetime connections with these guys.”

Phoenix Suns

Jusuf Nurkic, Phoenix Suns media day...

Kevin Zimmerman

No point to it: Suns see Jusuf Nurkic, pace replacing traditional lead guard

It became clear with the trade of point guard Chris Paul for Bradley Beal that the Phoenix Suns wouldn't require a play-initiating maestro.

15 minutes ago

Devin Booker, Suns new jerseys sunburst...

Arizona Sports

36 unbothered: The revamped Suns sunburst jerseys

The Phoenix Suns wore their new sunburst jerseys at 2023 media day. With new culture comes new uniforms for 2023-24.

12 hours ago

Phoenix Suns Forward Kevin Durant (35) and Phoenix Suns Guard Devin Booker (1) looks on during a NB...

Kellan Olson

Phoenix Suns’ new era built around bond between Devin Booker, Kevin Durant

It was impossible to escape the feeling on Monday that the Phoenix Suns are entering a new era of the franchise.

13 hours ago

Kevin Durant at Suns media day 2023 (Jeremy Schnell/Arizona Sports)...

Wills Rice

Suns’ Kevin Durant confirms he will play in 2024 Olympics in Paris

Kevin Durant was asked during Suns media day if he would have any interest in playing for Team USA. "I will play in the Olympics next year."

15 hours ago

Devin Booker at Phoenix Suns media day 2023...

Wills Rice

Suns’ Devin Booker talks new roster, signature shoes and Kyler Murray

Just like his jump shot, Phoenix Suns guard Devin Booker was calm, cool and collected on Monday at media day in downtown Phoenix.

18 hours ago


Arizona Sports Video

Video: Kevin Durant, Devin Booker and Jusuf Nurkić exclusive interviews from Phoenix Suns media day

Kevin Durant, Devin Booker and Jusuf Nurkić join Arizona Sports’ Wolf & Luke for exclusive interviews from Phoenix Suns media day. Video: Jeremy Schnell/Arizona Sports

18 hours ago

Quinton Crawford brings chill, yet determined demeanor to Summer Suns