Thursday, February 28, 2008

A long strange trip for Mike James

Former Duquesne standout, (and the only former Duke currently in the NBA), Mike James, has been traded... again, this time to the New Orleans Hornets.

James professional basketball career has been quite a journey.
Mike James went undrafted after finishing a stellar career at Duquesne. Prior to entering the NBA, James played with St. Polten in Austria (1998-99), Chalons in France (1999-2000) and Slu Nancy in France (2000-01) James started the 2001-02 campaign with the Rockford Lightning of the Continental Basketball Association before signing with the Miami Heat.

The Miami Heat gave James his first shot in the NBA during the 2001-2002 season. James spent the 01-02 and the 02-03 season with the Heat.

After the 02-03 season the Heat chose not to resign James. James then signed with the Boston Celtics where he started 55 games in a row while averaging 10.7ppg and 4.4 apg.

After playing well for the Celts, James was sent to Detroit along with Rasheed Wallace on Feb. 19, 2004, in a three-team deal that sent Chucky Atkins, Lindsey Hunter, a Detroit 2004 first-round draft pick and cash considerations to Boston and Bob Sura, Zeljko Rebraca, Chris Mills and a Milwaukee 2004 first-round draft pick to Atlanta.

James finished the 03-04 season with the Pistons and helped Detroit win the 03-04 NBA title.

James was not resigned by the Pistons after the 03-04 season. The Milwaukee Bucks quickly snatched James up and gave him his first multimillion dollar contract signing him to a deal that would pay him 3.1 million dollars a year. James came off the bench for the Bucks and put up solid numbers for a sub, averaging 24 minutes pg, 11.4ppg, and 3.9apg. James would not finish the season with the Bucks...

James is actually a really calm and collected kind of guy so this picture caught my eye.

The Bucks traded James and Zendon Hamilton to Houston on Feb. 24, 2005, for Reece Gaines and two future second-round draft picks. James finished the 04-05 season with the Rockets averaging 12.2ppg and 2.9 apg while coming off the bench in Houston. James would not be back in a Rockets uniform for the 05-06 season...
During the 2005 off season the Rockets traded James to the Toronto Raptors for Rafer Alston on Oct. 4, 2005. James joined a struggling Raptors squad for the 05-06 season and out of nowhere went crazy and had a career year. I had Mike James on my fantasy team back in 05-06 and boy was I glad I did:

James' 05-06 stats:

  • James started 79 games for the Raptors
  • Averaged 20.3ppg, 5.8apg, 3.3rpg, and only 2.6 turnovers per game for a 2 to 1 assist to turnover ratio.
  • Finished the season ranked 4th in the NBA in 3-Pt Field Goal Pct with a 44.2%

Despite a career year the Raptors decided not to resign James, but James' monster year did not go unnoticed...The Minnesota Timberwolves signed James to a sizable four year contract on July 13, 2006. James' contract pays him around 5.5 million dollars a year through the 08-09 season with a 6.4 million dollar player option for the 09-10 season. It was also rumored that there was a stipulation in this contract that James would receive a bonus if he was ever traded by Minnesota. The Timberwolves got a lot of mileage out of James in the 06-07 season. James played in all 82 games and started 65 for the Twolves averaging 10.1ppg and 3.6apg. James wouldn't wear a Timberwolves uniform during the 07-08 season however...

The Twolves traded James back to Houston along with Justin Reed on June 14, 2007, in exchange for Juwan Howard. Of course the Rockets had a logjam of point guards this year and decided to deal James, (the odd man out) to the New Orleans Hornets in a three player deal:

New Orleans Hornets get:
Bonzi Wells
Mike James

Houston Rockets get:
Bobby Jackson
Adam Haluska
2008 2nd-round pick (from NO)
Sergei Lishouk (rights)

Memphis Grizzlies get:
Marcus Vinicius
Malick Badiane (draft rights)

The Hornets are actually one of the best teams in the NBA this year with a 37-18 record. James will be a backup to one of the most talented young players in the NBA, point guard Chris Paul. A source close to James has reported that he is happy with the move to New Orleans even though he will be leaving his family at his home in the Houston area.

Good luck in the playoffs this year with the Hornets Mr. James, make Duquesne fans proud.


phildogg said...


Matt H said...

He ha been bounced from team to team but is still in the NBA so congrats to Mike.