Jerome James in 2007
November 17, 1975 |
|Listed height||7 ft 1 in (2.16 m)|
|Listed weight||285 lb (129 kg)|
|High school||Pentacostal Christian Academy
|College||Florida A&M (1995–1998)|
|NBA Draft||1998 / Round: 2 / Pick: 36th overall|
|Selected by the Sacramento Kings|
|2000–2001||KK Budućnost (Montenegro)|
|2001||ASVEL Villeurbanne (France)|
|2005–2009||New York Knicks|
|2012||Caciques de Humacao (Puerto Rico)|
|Career highlights and awards|
|Stats at Basketball-Reference.com|
Jerome Keith James (born November 17, 1975) is an American professional basketball player who last played with the Caciques de Humacao in Puerto Rico in 2012. Originally from Tampa, Florida, James played college basketball at Florida A&M for three seasons and was the national leader in blocks per game in the 1997–98 season, his junior year. James declared for the 1998 NBA Draft after his junior year, and the Sacramento Kings selected James in the second round of the draft. Over the course of his career, he has played for the Kings, Seattle SuperSonics and New York Knicks. He has also played for KK Budućnost Podgorica and the Harlem Globetrotters.
Early life and college years 
Jerome James was born and raised in Tampa, Florida, one of ten children. His father Jessie was a longshoreman. After graduating from the Pentecostal Christian Academy of Tampa in 1993, James worked unloading trucks at a dairy and feed lot in the Tampa Bay Area and took care of his siblings. A friend of James's mother saw James playing pickup basketball at a community center and called Ron Brown, coach of the Florida A&M University Rattlers basketball team. Brown came and saw James's basketball skills and immediately offered James an athletic scholarship to Florida A&M.
James redshirted the 1994–95 season and played for Florida A&M from 1995 to 1998. In an interview with The Seattle Times, James said that meeting Shaquille O'Neal at an Orlando Magic practice inspired him to pursue a professional basketball career. With Florida A&M, James played 81 games had a career average 16.0 points, 9.2 rebounds, and 4.48 blocks with 49.5% successful field goal attempts. In his junior season (1997–98), James led NCAA Division I basketball with 4.63 blocks per game. James was an All-MEAC selection in his sophomore and junior seasons. One class away of a pre-law degree, James declared for the 1998 NBA Draft after his junior season.
Professional career 
Harlem Globetrotters and Sacramento Kings (1998–2000) 
The Sacramento Kings selected James in the second round as the 36th overall pick in the 1998 NBA Draft. Due to the NBA lockout, James played for the Harlem Globetrotters in the fall of 1998 in a nine-country tour of Europe. James joined the Kings once the NBA lockout ended in 1999. Playing 16 games for the Kings as a reserve, James averaged 1.5 points and 1.1 rebounds. James sat out the entire 1999–2000 season due to an injury suffered during summer mini-camp. The Kings waived James on October 20, 2000.
KK Budućnost and ASVEL Villeurbanne (2000–2001) 
For the 2000–01 season, James played 10 games for KK Budućnost of the Yugoslav Basketball League with 12.1 points and 6.7 rebounds per game and was part of the 2001 league championship team. James later signed with ASVEL Basket of the French LNB Pro A. Competing with ASVEL in the LNB playoffs, James averaged 9.5 points, 6.2 rebounds, and 2 blocks.
Seattle SuperSonics (2001–2005) 
On September 5, 2001, James returned to the NBA and signed with the Seattle SuperSonics. In the 2001–02 season, James played 56 games with 40 starts and averaged 5.3 points, 4.1 rebounds, and 0.4 steals and scored on 49.1% of field goal attempts. James also led the team in blocks with 86.
James has averaged 4.3 points and 3.1 rebounds per game in 358 career games (180 games started). James played well for the Seattle SuperSonics during the 2005 NBA playoffs, averaging 12.5 points and 6.8 rebounds in 11 games against the Kings and San Antonio Spurs.
New York Knicks (2005–2009) 
After the 2004–05 season, James signed a 5-year, $30 million free-agent contract with the Knicks on the strength of an outstanding performance in the 2 playoff series in which he tripled his regular-season statistics. He arrived at his first training camp out of shape and in his first season he only averaged 3.1 points and 2.1 rebounds in 9 minutes per game. James missed much of the season due to injury and when he was not injured, he frequently played insignificant minutes. James was suspended on January 2, 2006 for not being prepared to practice.
James is often cited as one of many questionable signings done by Knicks general manager Isiah Thomas. He is also sometimes cited as an example of the "contract year phenomenon", where an athlete with impending free agency plays at a higher level than he ever has before, only to return to his normal level of play once he signs a new long-term contract. Chris Mannix of Sports Illustrated wrote "James was a chronic underachiever who cashed in on a brief moment of excellence".
In the 2007–08 NBA season he played in only two games (January 18 and January 21) for a total of five minutes, while earning a salary of $5.8 million. James made his only field goal shot and two free throws of the season at Washington. He played another 2 games the following season, scoring 6 points, but suffered a season-ending torn Achilles tendon injury.
On February 19, 2009, James was traded by the Knicks along with Tim Thomas and Anthony Roberson to the Chicago Bulls in exchange for Larry Hughes. James never played any minutes for the Chicago Bulls because of injury. He was waived by the Bulls shortly before the 2009-2010 playoffs.
Caciques de Humacao (2012) 
James returned to professional basketball in 2012, signing with the Caciques de Humacao of the Puerto Rican BSN league on February 28. In 7 games, James made 43% of field goal attempts and averaged 9.1 points and 7.4 rebounds.
NBA career statistics 
|GP||Games played||GS||Games started||MPG||Minutes per game|
|FG%||Field goal percentage||3P%||3-point field goal percentage||FT%||Free throw percentage|
|RPG||Rebounds per game||APG||Assists per game||SPG||Steals per game|
|BPG||Blocks per game||PPG||Points per game||Bold||Career high|
Regular season 
Notes and references 
- Carpenter, Les (April 26, 2002). "A player's tale: the strange path of Jerome James". The Seattle Times. Archived from the original on June 13, 2002. Retrieved March 6, 2013.
- "Jerome Jame biography". NBA. Retrieved March 6, 2013.
- "FAMU Puts 2 On All-MEAC Teams". Orlando Sentinel. February 28, 1997. Retrieved March 6, 2013.
- "Jerome James". basketball-reference.com. Retrieved March 6, 2013.
- "Jerome James s'affirme". L'equipe (in French). May 2, 2005. Retrieved March 6, 2013.
- Ex-New York Knicks president Isiah Thomas paid $120 million in salary for 82 games of service - ESPN New York
- Associated Press (January 2, 2006). "Knicks' James suspended indefinitely for conduct". ESPN.com. Retrieved July 30, 2009.
- ESPN Page 2 - Page 2: Who is the NBA's LVP?
- NJ.com: Weblogs
- "SI.com - Dubious history - Jan 6, 2006". CNN. January 5, 2006. Retrieved May 6, 2010.
- "Disponible Mike Harris para jugar con los Atléticos de San Germán". El Nuevo Dia (in Spanish). February 29, 2012. Retrieved March 4, 2013.
- "James, Jerome" (in Spanish). BSN. Retrieved March 4, 2013.