Quinton Crawford brings chill, yet determined demeanor to Summer Suns
Jul 6, 2023, 8:00 PM
(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.”