James “Champ” Jones is currently a backup small forward and shooting guard for the Cleveland Cavaliers. His current jersey is number 1, and that is for good reason. All James Jones has known for his entire NBA career is winning.
Jones had a solid career as a starter at the University of Miami, averaging 11 points per game, and with one-Third Team All-Big East honor. Jones was also inducted into the University of Miami Sports Hall of Fame. Jones was then taken 49th in the 2003 draft by the Indiana Pacers. The NBA has not been the same since.
Since being drafted, the lengthy wingman has not had a losing season in the NBA. This trend has continued with all 5 teams that the forward has been on. Pacers? Winning team. Suns? Winning team. Blazers? Winning team. Wins never lie, ladies and gentlemen. However, despite all this success, a championship had eluded his grasp. Then after an hour long special on ESPN one night, Jones’ fortunes changed.
In 2010, a Mr. Lebron James brought his talents down to South Beach, and since then this tandem has wreaked havoc on the NBA. Iconic Duos are always important in sports. They forge reliability and confidence in the rest of the team and can become icons of a franchise, or even multiple franchises. Jordan and Pippen. Stockton and Malone. Brady and Belichick. Having a wingman can help you get to the top. Especially when they complement one another.
No doubt seeing the prowess of Jones’ shot, The King knew they would be the inside-outside threat that all championship teams have. Lebron James was also in search of his first title at the time, and Miami had just the sharpshooter he needed to play alongside. With an already established winning culture instilled by Jones in Miami, this may have been the last bump over the hill he needed. The relationship started off strong, but still, a championship eluded them in their first year together.
Then in 2011, everything started to gel. Jones brought home his first Three Point Contest win, a precursor to the dominance that was to come. Jones and James then rallied the Heat to an NBA Championship in 5 games over the Oklahoma City Thunder. Jones finally had his title and he finally found his other half in Lebron James.
Since securing their first title together, the pair has been to seven straight NBA finals together. After their successful run in Miami ended, the two have come back to Cleveland to utter dominance over the eastern conference. James and Jones have already brought Cleveland to two finals and 1 title. Only time will tell if this upcoming trip against the Warriors will be successful, but with James by his side, there’s nothing Jones can’t accomplish in the NBA.