James Andrew Jones (born October 4, 1980) is an American professional basketball player who is a free agent. He last played for the Cleveland Cavaliers of the National Basketball Association (NBA). He currently serves as the secretary-treasurer of the National Basketball Players Association. He has won three NBA championships, two with the Miami Heat and one with the Cavaliers. Jones has never been on an NBA team with a losing record and has only missed the playoffs once—with the Portland Trail Blazers in 2007–08. He is one of nine players to have reached six consecutive NBA Finals. His nickname is "Champ".
High school career
Jones was a four-year letterman in basketball at American High School in Hialeah, Florida. He averaged 25.2 points, 12 rebounds, 2.5 assists, 2 steals, and 6 blocks per game his senior season, earning first-team All-State and first-team All-Dade honors. He was also named the Class 6A Player of the Year and the Miami Herald Boys' Basketball Player of the Year. Jones was the team MVP his junior and senior years. He once blocked sixteen shots in one game.
Jones played college basketball for the Miami Hurricanes from 1999 to 2003. He played in 33 games, averaging 3.9 points and 1.9 rebounds per game, his freshman year in 1999. He started all 29 games for the Hurricanes his sophomore year, averaging 11.9 points, 5.9 rebounds, 1.2 assists, 1.2 steals and 1.6 blocks per game. Jones shot a team-best 41-87 on three-pointers for a .471 percentage. He started all 31 games for the team his junior season, averaging 12.8 points, 6.3 rebounds, 1.5 assists, 2.4 blocks and 1.3 steals, garnering Third Team All-Big East and 2002 Verizon Academic All-District III accolades. He started all 28 games his senior year, averaging 16.9 points, 6.0 rebounds, 1.8 assists, 1.6 steals and 1.8 blocks, earning Honorable Mention All-Big East and Second Team Verizon Academic All-American recognition. Jones led the team in blocks and rebounds as a senior. He became the Hurricanes' first Verizon Academic All-American selection and earned Big East All-Academic honors all four seasons. He majored in finance at Miami. Jones was also a member of the National Honor Society and had a 3.41 grade point average. He was inducted into the University of Miami Sports Hall of Fame in 2014.
Indiana Pacers (2003–2005)
The 6'8" (203 cm), 215 lb (98 kg) small forward who attended American Senior High in Miami was picked 49th by the Indiana Pacers in the 2003 NBA draft out of the University of Miami. He played in only 26 total minutes over six games during his rookie campaign in 2003–04 and missed 66 games due to a variety of injuries. He was also a DNP-CD (did not play - coach's decision) in ten games.
Jones played in 75 games, starting 24, for the Pacers during the 2004–05 season, averaging 4.9 points per game while also ranking 25th in the NBA and leading the team in three-point conversion percentage (39.8%). He saw increased playing time during the season as a result of a brawl between the Pacers and Detroit Pistons on November 19, 2004 that caused small forward Ron Artest to be suspended for the remainder of the season and shooting guard Stephen Jackson to be suspended 30 games. James was a DNP-CD in seven games. He scored a career-high 27 points on 10 of 14 shooting while going 6 of 9 from three-point range on November 28, 2004 against the Seattle SuperSonics.
Phoenix Suns (2005–2007)
Jones was traded by the Pacers to the Phoenix Suns on August 25, 2005, in exchange for a 2008 second-round draft pick. He played in 75 games, starting 24, for the Suns during the 2005–06 season, averaging 9.3 points, 3.4 rebounds and 23.6 minutes per game. He missed seven games due to injury. Jones's turnover percentage of 5.23 turnovers committed per 100 plays during the 2005–06 season set an NBA record for lowest single-season turnover percentage. It is now fourth-place on the all-time list as of the end of the 2015–16 season. The NBA did not start recording individual turnovers until the 1977–78 season.
He appeared in 76 games, with seven starts, for the team during the 2006–07 season, averaging 6.4 points, 2.3 rebounds and 18.1 minutes a game. He was a DNP-CD six times. Jones made 45 consecutive free throws from January 5 to March 29, the longest consecutive free throws made streak in the NBA during the 2006–07 season.
Portland Trail Blazers (2007–2008)
During the 2007–08 season, James stayed near the top of the rankings in three-point shooting percentage, finishing third in the league, with a shooting percentage of 44.4%. Despite his good shooting for the year, he was not selected to participate in the Three-point Shootout contest during the 2008 NBA All-Star Game, much to the chagrin of Trail Blazers fans. He played in 58 games, starting three, during the season while averaging 8.0 points, 2.8 rebounds and 22.0 minutes per game. Jones missed seventeen games due to injury and was a DNP-CD seven times.
On June 26, 2008, he used his player option to opt out of his contract with the Trail Blazers, making him a free agent for the off-season.
Miami Heat (2008–2014)
On July 9, 2008, Jones signed a contract with his hometown team, the Miami Heat. He earned $4 million in his first year of a potential five-year contract, worth up to $23.2 million. The first two years were guaranteed, while the final three were options held by both the Miami Heat and Jones. He played in forty games, starting one, for the Heat during the 2008–09 season, averaging 4.2 points, 1.6 rebounds and 15.8 minutes per game. Jones missed 36 games due to injury and was a DNP-CD six games.
He appeared in 36 games, with six starts, for the team during the 2009–10 season while averaging 4.1 points, 1.3 rebounds and 14.0 minutes a game. He missed one game due to injury and was a DNP-CD 35 times. Jones was also healthy but on the inactive list ten games. He completed two four-point plays in a span of eleven seconds in a playoff loss to the Atlanta Hawks on April 29, 2009.
On June 29, 2010, he was released to clear salary cap space worth $400,000. On July 19, 2010, Jones was re-signed by the Miami Heat for the league minimum. He played in 81 games, starting eight, for the team during the 2010–11 season, averaging 5.9 points, 2.0 rebounds and 19.1 minutes per game. He missed one game as a DNP-CD. Jones led the Heat in games played, three-point field goals made with 123, three-point field goals attempted with 287 and charges drawn with 29. He finished seventh in the NBA in three point field goal percentage with a .429 shooting percentage. He also had the lowest turnover percentage in the NBA during the 2010–11 season, committing an average of 5.27 turnovers per 100 plays. This was the second best single-season turnover percentage in NBA history, behind Jones's own record of 5.23 from the 2005–06 season. His 5.27 percentage is now fifth-place while his 5.23 percentage is fourth-place on the all-time list as of the end of the 2015–16 season. On February 19, 2011, he won the Three-Point Shootout in Los Angeles at Staples Center. Jones scored a playoff career-high 25 points on 5 of 7 shooting from three point range and 10 of 10 free throw shooting on May 1, 2011 against the Boston Celtics. The Heat went on to make the 2011 NBA Finals where they lost to the Dallas Mavericks, 4 games to 2.
On December 9, 2011, he re-signed with the Heat to a three-year, $4.5 million contract. In the 2011–12 season, an impressive playoff run by the Heat culminated in his first NBA championship, and the franchise's second as they defeated the Oklahoma City Thunder in the 2012 NBA Finals, 4 games to 1. Jones played in 51 games, starting ten, for the Heat during the season while averaging 3.6 points, 1.0 rebounds and 13.1 minutes per game. He was a DNP-CD 15 times. He finished third place in the 2012 Three-Point Shootout in Orlando.
Jones played in 38 games for the Heat during the 2012–13 season while averaging 1.6 points, 0.6 rebounds and 5.8 minutes. He won his second championship when the Heat defeated the San Antonio Spurs in seven games.
In 2013–14, the Heat made the 2014 NBA Finals as they recorded their fourth straight Finals appearance. Miami faced the Spurs again but this time, the Heat went on to lose in five games. He played in twenty games, starting six, during the season, averaging 4.9 points, 1.2 rebounds and 11.8 minutes.
Cleveland Cavaliers (2014–2016)
On August 5, 2014, Jones signed with the Cleveland Cavaliers. LeBron James, Jones's teammate with the Miami Heat, had asked him to come join him in Cleveland. The Cavaliers won the Eastern Conference championship and advanced to the NBA Finals. Facing the Golden State Warriors, the Cavaliers lost the series in six games. Jones played in 57 games, starting two, for the Cavaliers during the 2014–15 season while averaging 4.4 points, 1.1 rebounds and 11.7 minutes a game.
On July 25, 2015, Jones re-signed with the Cavaliers. In a December 2015 article on ESPN.com by Dave McMenamin, LeBron James said "He's my favorite player of all time" and "He's the greatest teammate I've ever had" in regards to Jones. Jones was a member of the Cavaliers team that won the Eastern Conference championship for the second year in a row, as he and teammate LeBron James joined Bill Russell, Bob Cousy, K. C. Jones, Sam Jones, Tom Heinsohn, Satch Sanders and Frank Ramsey (all from the Boston Celtics) as the only players in NBA history to reach six consecutive NBA Finals. The Cavaliers went on to win the 2016 NBA championship, becoming the first team in history to win the championship after being down 3–1 in the Finals, as Jones won his third title in five years. He played in 48 games during the 2015–16 season while averaging 3.7 points, 1.0 rebounds and 9.6 minutes a game. He was also one of twelve players nominated for the Twyman–Stokes Teammate of the Year Award, finishing tenth place in the voting. On June 26, 2016, Cavaliers teammate Kevin Love called Jones "the best teammate I've ever had".
Jones's nicknames include "Champ", "J. J." and "JHoops" (pronounced Joops). He and his wife Destiny have a son named James Dylan Jones and two daughters named Jadynn Alyssa Jones and Jodie Marissa Jones. James owns an urban redevelopment company called James Jones Ventures while the James Jones Legacy Foundation was founded in 2009. He began hosting an annual basketball camp called JHoops Live in 2009.
Jones's uncle, Ricky Gutiérrez, played in Major League Baseball. Jones's aunt, Lisa Jones played basketball at the University of Miami from 1988 to 1990. His cousin Mionsha Gay also played at the University of Miami. His aunt, Hope Jones, and his cousin, Shelnita Jackson, played basketball at Barry University. Jones's father Jay Lee played at Southern University while his uncle Mitchell Lee played at the University of Minnesota and his cousin Shawn Brailsford played at Marshall University.
Awards and honors
- 2015–16 NBA Champion
- 2014 Inductee University of Miami Sports Hall of Fame
- 2012–13 NBA Champion
- 2011–12 NBA Champion
- 2010–11 Foot Locker Three-Point Contest Champion
- 2002–03 Honorable Mention All-Big East Conference Team
- 2002–03 Verizon Academic All-American
- 2002–03 Big East All-Academic Team
- 2001–02 All-Big East Conference Third Team
- 2001–02 Verizon Academic All-District III selection
- 2001–02 Big East All-Academic Team
- 2000–01 Big East All-Academic Team
- 1999–00 Big East All-Academic Team
- 1998–99 Class 6A Player of the Year in Florida
- 1998–99 First-team All-State Selection
- 1998–99 First-team All-Dade County Selection
- 1998–99 Miami Herald Boys' Basketball Player of the Year
NBA career statistics
|GP||Games played||GS||Games started||MPG||Minutes per game|
|FG%||Field goal percentage||3P%||3-point field goal percentage||FT%||Free throw percentage|
|RPG||Rebounds per game||APG||Assists per game||SPG||Steals per game|
|BPG||Blocks per game||PPG||Points per game||Bold||Career high|
|†||Denotes seasons in which Jones won an NBA Championship|