The rumors of James Jones retirement have been spreading for the last couple of weeks, but today it became official. The 14-year NBA veteran announced he will be retiring to join the Phoenix Suns as Vice President of Basketball Operations. He will report directly to the Suns current GM Ryan McDonough.
James Jones’ NBA career began with the Pacers, where he was selected 49th overall out of the University of Miami. He had brief stints in Phoenix and Portland before settling in his hometown of Miami. After playing there from 2008-2014, Jones followed LeBron in his return to Cleveland. While he was never asked to carry a large role on the court in Cleveland, his experience and veteran presence in the locker room played a vital part in the team’s success.
We all knew “Champ’s” time in the NBA was coming to a close. At 36-years-old, there was no way he could still contribute anything on the court anymore. It’s just unfortunate he had to retire before his 7-straight championship appearance streak came to an end. Champ was a consummate professional during his entire NBA career and especially here in Cleveland. His roster spot will be better served by adding a younger player, but that professionalism he brought every day will definitely be missed.
I’m positive that he will be extremely successful in his role for the Suns organization.
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