Clippers guard Jamal Crawford can’t play against the Lakers

Clippers shooting guard Jamal Crawford sat out Friday’s showdown with the Lakers because of a sore left foot, an injury he said was brought on by a pair of comfortable but worn-out sneakers. He hurt himself during the Clippers’ loss Tuesday against the Denver Nuggets.

Crawford, a backup who averages 16.5 points, played in Wednesday’s loss to the Golden State Warriors, but only because starting small forward Caron Butler missed the game because of personal reasons. He acknowledged the possibility of hurting it further by playing against the Warriors.

Playing against the Lakers wasn’t an option. “You hate to miss a game like this, but it’s probably better to rest it,” Crawford said.

It’s uncertain whether he will play in tonight’s rematch with the Warriors at Staples Center. After tonight’s game, the Clippers have three days to rest and recover from their current stretch of four games in five nights and to prepare for Wednesday’s home game against the Dallas Mavericks.

“I guess it’s easier on you knowing you won’t miss that many games,” he said.

One thing is for certain, Crawford will have a new pair of sneakers on his feet. The old ones, the  pair he began to wear on the opening day of training camp in September, have been retired. He said he believes the wear and tear on them caused him to injure his foot on a first-half move in Denver.

Some players wear a new pair of shoes for every game and for every practice.

But not Crawford.

“I’m superstitious,” he said. “I wanted to keep the same pair. I wore them at home and on the road. I couldn’t really feel them. They were flimsy and dirty. If you looked at them, they looked pretty beat up. So, I think that’s what happened, doing a move.”

When reporter reminded him that the major shoe companies give players free sneakers, all they could ever want or need, Crawford smiled sheepishly and said, “It’s just a feel. Once they good, I just hold onto them. I’m a creature of habit.”