BOSTON (CBS) — Jae Crowder played hard, physical defense on the play that injured Gordon Hayward’s leg and ankle. Fair or unfair, the ex-Celtics forward is now facing added scrutiny in the wake of the gruesome injury.
Listen above as 98.5 The Sports Hub’s Toucher & Rich discuss the play and wonder what exactly Crowder was doing. Fred Toucher wasn’t necessarily arguing that Crowder intentionally tried to injure Hayward, but he was confused by the way he maneuvered himself as the Celtics forward went up for an alley-oop. Toucher believes it’s fair to deem it “dirty.”
“Its an odd play,” said Toucher. “[Crowder] runs and then turns his back into a player that’s in the air. I don’t know how often you see someone away from the basket and then stick their ass into the guy’s thighs.
“Looking at it, you could make the statement that it’s dirty.”
Rich Shertenlieb and Jon Wallach disagreed, as Rich described it as an “aggressive play” and a “basketball play.” NBC Sports Boston’s Mike Gorman told T&R on Wednesday that it would be unfair to call Crowder’s play dirty or foist any blame on him for the injury.
Crowder fielded a question from Celtics reporter A. Sherrod Blakely about how he can convince people that he did not do anything intentionally on the play considering the forward’s past issues with the Celtics regarding Hayward.
“I don’t think I tried to do anything. I know I didn’t. I mean, he came down funny,” said Crowder. “It had nothing to do with the situation that took place [last season]. I can’t control that. I can’t control what took place. I can’t control the injury. It’s out of my hands at that point.”
Even if you believe Crowder made a dirty play, most agree that it would be a massive stretch to suggest he had any intention of causing an injury, let alone one as severe as Hayward’s. It’s why Rich wonders if this would even be a discussion if it were anyone other than Crowder.