James Jones, who starred at Hialeah American High School, the University of Miami and was a part of three NBA championship teams including two with the Miami Heat, retired after 14 seasons in the league Wednesday to become the Vice President of Basketball Operations for the Phoenix Suns.
Suns general manager Ryan McDonough said Jones, 36, will report to him and work alongside him to oversee all basketball-related matters including the draft, free agency and trades.
“James has a wealth of experiences that will greatly benefit our organization,” McDonough said of Jones, who played on the 2005-06 Suns team that won 54 games and advanced to the Western Conference Finals as well as the 2006-07 team that won 61 games and advanced to the conference semifinals.
Formerly the Secretary-Treasurer for the National Basketball Players Association, Jones ended his career by playing in seven consecutive NBA Finals. He joined LeBron James and six Boston Celtics Hall of Famers from the 1950s and 1960s as the only players in NBA history to play in The Finals that many times in a row.
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A member of the UM Sports Hall of Fame, Jones averaged 5.2 points and 1.8 rebounds in 15.7 minutes while shooting 40.1 percent from three-point range in 709 career regular-season games over 14 seasons with five NBA teams. He never played for a team that finished below .500 and only missed the playoffs once as a player.
He spent six seasons with the Heat – longer than any tenure with any other team – and ranks 10th all-time in franchise history in three-pointers made (283) and eighth in career three-point field goal percentage (40.8).
In addition to the Heat, Jones played for the Pacers, Suns, Trail Blazers and Cavaliers.
Now, after a long fruitful career as a three-point shooter off the bench, Jones becomes one of the first local players from South Florida to make the jump to an NBA front office.