For the greater part of the 2022-23 campaign, one of the biggest subplots in the Phoenix Suns’ season was the inevitable departure of Jae Crowder. Before the season even began, Crowder and the Suns mutually agreed to part ways, with Phoenix looking for the best possible deal for the 3 and D forward.
After months of trade talks, the Suns finally dealt Crowder to the Milwaukee Bucks hours prior to the NBA trade deadline, ending Crowder’s two-season stint in the Valley. Nonetheless, despite the anticlimactic end to Crowder’s Suns tenure, it seems like the veteran forward has maintained healthy relationships with members of the organization.
Following the Bucks’ 116-104 victory over the Suns on Tuesday night in Jae Crowder’s first return to Footprint Center as a member of an opposing team, the 32-year old forward shared a few heartfelt embraces with his former teammates and coaches.
Per Duane Rankin of AZ Central:
Scored 11 points. pic.twitter.com/eeI661gTP1
— Duane Rankin (@DuaneRankin) March 15, 2023
Some of the Suns players Crowder went out of his way to greet were Bismack Biyombo, with whom he shared a long, warm hug with, and Torrey Craig, who, perhaps, received some plaudits from the Bucks forward after putting on a gritty defensive performance that ended with one of his teeth on the ground.
Crowder also shared a moment with Devin Booker even though they had a bit of a tense moment to end the third period.
All love between former teammates Devin Booker and Jae Crowder postgame. pic.twitter.com/cLRoJD9kpl
— Arizona Sports (@AZSports) March 15, 2023
Meanwhile, Jae Crowder also embraced Suns assistant coaches Brian Randle and Jarrett Jack as they exchanged greetings and hugs having been through war over the past two postseasons. (In Jack’s case, one postseason.)
With Kevin Durant on the mend, Jae Crowder could have been a huge help for the Suns’ depleted wing corps. Not a single Suns wing scored in double figures; Josh Okogie and Ish Wainright led the way with eight points each, while Terrence Ross and TJ Warren, two more offensively inclined wings, put up a collective donut on the scoring column.
Meanwhile, Crowder played 25 minutes with Khris Middleton out due to precautionary reasons, scoring 11 points to help the Bucks achieve victory. He also exhibited his usual brand of tenacity, as he (along with Jrue Holiday) took on the responsibility of defending Devin Booker. Simply put, the Suns’ loss is the Bucks’ gain.