Jae Crowder was traded by the Celtics to the Cavaliers last August just a few hours before his mother died.
“That’s why the trade didn’t even hit me like it should have,” Crowder said. “My mind, my soul, and my body was somewhere else. But I can say the trade didn’t hit me like everyone thinks it did because I was going through some other situations, personal situations.”
Crowder was outspoken when Boston fans cheered for rumored free agent target Gordon Hayward last season.
LeBron James invited Crowder to Santa Barbara for pre-training camp workouts in September, which eliminated any preconceived notions about his new situation.
“That [phone call] wasn’t enough obviously,” Crowder said. “When I flew to LA and worked out with the team weeks before training camp, that really, really was special. When we weren’t in the gym, we were together. We’re going to dinner. We’re going to lunch. We were together and that helped build a bond. Everything we do is together. That helps build relationships. He’s done a great job of being a leader in that aspect off the court, feeling like one big family.”