Tuesday, June 11, 2013

Obscure NBA Player of the Week: James Jones

Each week at Volume Shooters, we highlight an NBA player, past or present, who doesn't spend much time in the spotlight but is nonetheless a valuable cog in his team's quest for the championship. Obscure players tend to be on obscure teams, but with the playoffs going on, we tried to pick somebody out from one of the title contenders. Here's this week's edition:

Well, the NBA Finals have finally arrived, and with them, most of the obscure NBA players have departed off the national scene. Let's see, who is left here...Matt Bonner? Too mainstream. Patty Mills? Already done. Rashard Lewis? Formerly the second highest paid player in the league! He's out. Who else, who else...how about him:

Yes, it turns out the Heat do have obscure guys on their roster! That's James Jones. Know anything about him? Me neither. Let's try and see what his career has been like...

Country of Origin: Jones was born in Miami all the way back in 1980, making him one of the older players we've profiled in this segment.

Vitals: 6'8" / 215 lbs

Position: SF

Nickname: Jones may be an obscure player, but he has probably the least obscure given name in America. You really can't get much more generic than "James Jones" - in fact, here are some other people that come up in the first few pages of Google results for "James Jones":

Not him.


Still not him.
There he is!
As you can see,  James Jones is not a man that can get by on his normal name alone. That's why he has given himself the nickname "JHoops" - pronounced "Joops"- which is...well, to be honest its pretty boring. Almost as boring as "James Jones."

Career Arc: Jones attended the University of Miami for four years, where he developed a three-point stroke on his way to averaging 17 points and 6 rebounds a game his senior year. He was drafted by the Pacers in 2003 with the 49th pick, but played only sparingly his first few years in the league. His two most notable campaigns (2005-6 and 2010-11) still saw him average fewer than 10 points and 4 rebounds per game, although he does shoot 40% from deep on his career, which I hear is pretty good. But none of these things are really the reason you might have heard of James Jones...

That would be his performance in "Field of Dreams."
Nope, the reason many basketball fans have heard of James Jones is that he has played on some really good teams during his career. He started by playing 2 years with the Reggie Miller/Ron Artest Pacers, making the playoffs in 2004-5. From there, he was traded to the Nash/Marion/Stoudamire Suns teams, making two more postseasons the next two seasons. After a brief stop in Portland, Jones came home to the Miami Heat, where he has made the postseason each of the last 5 seasons. For a guy who averages 17 minutes a game for his career to have played in 91 playoff games is pretty absurd. Jones hasn't gotten much run...or really any run...for this year's edition of Lebron and the Superfriends, but he just might pick up a second ring for his efforts.

Buck-est "Joops" Mixtape Available on YouTube: We'll go with two different videos here, one to remind people that James Jones can shoot a bit...

...and one to remind people that the 2011 Heat had Mike Bibby and Zydrunas Ilgauskas starting playoff games for them.

Jones does drop 25 in that game, however, marking what I can only assume is his playoff career high.

Notable Moments in his NBA Career: See above. Most of my Googling of James Jones produced highlight videos of Nash, Wade, Lebron, and of course, James Earl Jones starring in Field of Dreams.

Will he ever make the big time? The guy already has a ring, so who cares? He's 32, he's living in his hometown (which happens to be Miami), he plays professional basketball with one of the greatest players of all time, and he already won a title...almost everybody in the world would take that life. Chances are Jones will spend the next few years of his life enjoying the sun and sand in Miami-Dade county, shooting a bunch of 3's in practice, and working on his chemist game with Bosh, Wade and Lebron. If he wants people to call him Joops, who are we to tell him no?

"My life rules!"

Please submit comments, questions, and recommendations for next week's Obscure NBA Player to pabritton42@gmail.com.

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