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.

Comments (7)
  1. I said it looked fishy from the start.

  2. Jon Holmdal says:

    Crowder looks to me like he is trying to get out of Labron’s way. Labron is in the air and heading Crowder’s direction and he is looks to be getting out of his area. Not a dirty play.

  3. Crowder is clearly using his right arm to prevent Gordon Hayward from going up to catch the alley, which makes Gordon H. going up a bit out of control; and then Dumb LeBron collides with the man out of control and sends him straight to the floor. I do not know if it was intentional or not, but it was very stupid by both Crowder and James to play that dirty. It was dirty, since they do not clearly know how to play small ball rim protection without hurting other players; which should be a concern for the NBA. In that vein, it is possible to claim that you caused an accident unintentionally, but at the end you hurt someone, and you will end up paying for it. In the aftermath, I hope that Hayward’s honor gets redeemed by another brave man, as cowards as LeBron “The chicken” James and Jae “Pork sushi” Crowder have to learn to play the game in a more honorable an respectful way. Maybe nobody thought them any respect during their childhood; ask LeBron James!!!!!

  4. One thing in favor of LeBron is that he was already in the air when Crowder pulls Hayward down with his right arm. Thus, the only piglet on that play is nobody else but Crowder.

  5. It is a shame how the NBA since Bruce Bowen became a very dirty league, as officials and the league itself allows plays that are clearly disrespectful, careless and potentially dangerous for other players. The game should be played with style and grace instead of extreme aggression and lack of intelligence (just as Crowder). I cannot believe that he went to University; were his SAT scores reviewed by the NCAA….

  6. Crowder has been labeled a dirty player for years. We didn’t see it because we were the beneficiaries of it. That he took out his anger on GH – the player who took his position – for being traded is totally plausible in light of how he and IT have conducted themselves in interviews since the trade. DIRTY.