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Jae Crowder says his ill mother passed minutes after he told her he was traded

Cleveland Cavaliers Introduce Isaiah Thomas, Jae Crowder & Ante Zizic

INDEPENDENCE, OH - SEPTEMBER 7: Cleveland Cavaliers player Jae Crowder answers questions during his introductory press conference at Cleveland Clinic Courts on September 7, 2017 in Independence, Ohio. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. (Photo by Jason Miller/Getty Images)

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Jae Crowder wasn’t just some throw in as part of the Kyrie Irving/Isaiah Thomas trade — he’s the kind of wing defender and shooter that the Cavaliers need (and need more of) to go against the Golden State Warriors.

But he wasn’t the focus of the trade, and his story about getting moved didn’t come out until he was introduced to the media Thursday — his mother, Helen Thompson, has been battling cancer, and passed away minutes after he told her of the trade, Crowder said at his press conference.

“There was a lot going on that day, obviously. The good thing about the whole ordeal was I was able to whisper it to my mom before she passed. I was with her. I just told her, ‘We’re going to Cleveland.’ Five minutes later, she passed.”

He talked about how basketball — and the opportunity with the Cavaliers — has given him something to focus on during this emotional and difficult time.

Our thoughts are with Crowder and his family.