It’s going to be a busy weekend for Heat forward James Jones.
Jones was named to the University of Miami Sports Hall of Fame on Thursday, and he will be the grand marshal for the Hurricanes’ homecoming parade Friday.
Jones, a Miami native, has been a Cane his entire life. As a child, he used to attend UM homecoming games and festivities with his family. Jones then played for the University of Miami basketball team. Now he’s a proud UM alumnus.
“This is going to be a special weekend for me,” Jones said. “As a professional, I’ve never had time to attend homecoming.”
Jones, in his 11th season in the NBA, played for Miami from 1999 to 2003.
He ranks fourth in blocks (192), seventh in three-point field goal percentage (38.3), eighth in free-throw percentage (83.1), 10th in steals (137), 11th in field goals made (124) and 14th in points (1,356) among the school’s all-time lists. He was a four-time All-Big East Academic team member and was selected a 2003 Verizon Academic All-American.
A two-time NBA champion, Jones will join seven other inductees into the UM Sports Hall of Fame, including Andre Johnson (football, 2000-02), Clinton Portis (football, 1999-01), Lamar Thomas (football, 1988-92), Javy Rodriguez (baseball, 1999-02), Jeff Morrison (baseball, 1978-81), Wyllesheia Myrick (track, 1998-02) and Rio Ramirez (diving, 1997-99).
The Hall of Fame class will be inducted on April 10, 2014.
“It’s a humbling experience,” Jones said. “As a kid you dream of these things. It’s something where I reflect on it and I’m extremely proud I’ve been able to accomplish that goal, but I know my parents, my family, my coaches, my teammates, everyone had a hand in it, so it gives me a greater appreciation for my team. And when I say team I mean all those people who helped me achieve something.”
Shane Battier is growing out his moustache this month to raise awareness for “Movember,” a month-long effort in November to raise awareness for men’s health by growing moustaches.
“This is ‘Movember,’ ” Battier said before the game when asked about his baby Fu Manchu. “I’m doing this for prostates. If you’re 40 and over, get your prostates checked!”
Battier then shot his finger guns for prostate cancer awareness and jogged out of the locker room.
Clippers coach Doc Rivers brushed aside questions about the MVP race before the game, reminding excitable reporters that the season is only two weeks old. Clippers guard Chris Paul, who is off to a great start statistically, is expected to compete with LeBron James for the league’s most coveted individual award.
James is the NBA’s back-to-back MVP and has won the award four times in five seasons.
“It’s been five games,” Rivers said. “I think the kid from [Orlando] should after [Wednesday night].”
The Magic clobbered the Clippers on Wednesday night in Orlando, with Magic center Nikola Vucevic scoring 30 points and pulling down 21 rebounds.
Paul entered Thursday’s game leading the NBA in the league’s efficiency rating (165), which is a complicated statistic that takes into account most offensive numbers. Kevin Love (160) was second and James was third (144). Paul also led the NBA in assists (63) through the first five games of the season.
Heat coach Erik Spoelstra was a little more effusive about Paul’s hot start to the season and how it relates to the Clippers overall.
“He’s brilliant,” Spoelstra said. “He’s an MVP candidate. He’s an absolute brilliant basketball player. There’s a lot of excitement with some of the changes coming off of a 56-win team, and with Doc Rivers being there I think the whole franchise feels a whole lot of excitement, and he’s feeding off that.”
Chris Bosh rejoined the Heat on Thursday after missing a few days to be by his wife’s side for the birth of their second child, Dylan Skye Bosh.
“Now I got two women yelling at me,” Bosh said. “It’s a lot of fun.”
Bosh entered the game averaging 19.8 points per game while shooting 60 percent (6 of 10) from three-point range, but basketball is secondary in his life at the moment. He hasn’t slept much since the birth of Dylan Skye and added, “I’m able to just get out the house for a little bit and play a game and then go right back home.”
• Thursday was Spoelstra’s 400th game as coach of the Heat. Spoelstra’s overall record is 264-136 after Thursday’s victory.
• Dwyane Wade recorded the 651st block of his career in the third quarter. He is four blocks from tying Dennis Johnson for the most blocks by a players 6-4 or shorter in NBA history.