The Season of Mike James' Discontent | Truth About It.net

The Season of Mike James’ Discontent

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Updated: January 22, 2010



Mike James can’t wait until the NBA trade deadline. It’s his best shot to get out of a place he does not want to be, the Nation’s Capital of Washington, DC. Although, if his $6.5 million expiring contract isn’t traded by February 19th, the Wizards will likely buy him out, releasing him to the sea of basketball free-agents, where there are plenty of fish.

James doesn’t come across as a malcontent. On the contrary, he’s an approachable, nice guy, has a sense of humor, and is always willing to talk. He’s the one Wizard you’ll likely see reading the bible before games and is often prodding youngsters like Nick Young, Dominic McGuire and Andray Blatche to attend pre-game chapel.

But make no mistake. Despite the recent release of a new book, Fight For Your Dreams: Memoirs of an NBA star, and the fact that he rarely shows his displeasure on the outside, Mike James is not a happy camper.

It’s because of his approachable demeanor why James is often seen holding court with one person or another before games, and why I never hesitate to walk over to his locker and shoot the breeze.

James has gently expressed his frustration with the 22 minutes he’s received on the season before, but tonight, he opened up with more poignant words and thoughts to a couple of us who were around before the Wizards were set to play the Miami Heat (including Mike Prada of Bullets Forever).

James said this has been the toughest situation of his career. He came into training camp in shape and says he’s done everything that’s been asked of him, but now feels jilted because he’s appeared in only one game the entire season. It is, however, worth noting that he broke his finger after his one appearance on November 6th and spent several weeks off the court.

As James continues to sit on the inactive list, the nine season NBA veteran said he feels he’s being made a mockery of, and considering the circumstances, he believes he’s the worst person on the Washington Wizards, a 14-27 team.

James said the lone bright spot for him this season was when he played against the Pacers. Not because he actually got to play in an NBA game, but because he got to be on the court with A.J. Price, his basketball protégé with whom he often speaks. James and Price share a hometown in Amityville, NY, and James hopes that someone was able to capture a picture of the two on the floor together back on that early November night.

His psyche may be in a bad place, but James won’t let that affect his basketball confidence. He still believes that he and his career double-figure average (10.5 ppg over 525 games) can help a team. He can’t wait to see an NBA court again and continues to hold onto the hope that he can earn a contract next season, however realistic that may be.

Whatever you think of Mike James as a player can be debated. But I can tell you, he’s definitely a likable guy, i.e., you can’t judge his personality solely on his Supernanny appearance as some, including myself, have done. As Mike Jones once wrote, at this point why not play the guy? The Wizards don’t have much too lose … well, except for more games, but that’s kind of inevitable, isn’t it?



4 Comments

  1. rmcazz

    January 23, 2010 at 10:41 am

    I’m sure he’s a nice guy, but I have a hard time feeling bad for a dude who opted to “take the cash and run” so to speak instead of going somewhere else like he EASILY could have over the summer.

    Even if this team was a “good” team he had to know he would not play very much on a guard heavy team.

    As fans, we all knew he would be sitting deep on the bench this season. I’m sure he had to know the same.

    Clearly it was not Gods plan for him to be in Washington. Mike, it’s not always about the money. There’s a story this week about a top prospect in the A’s organization who chose to be a priest over making millions of dollars in MLB.

    Maybe you should read that article.

    - Ray

  2. Truth About It

    January 23, 2010 at 11:16 am

    Um….

    2009-2010 is the last year of Mike James’ current contract. The Wizards were holding onto him from the Antonio Daniels trade because his $6.5 million is expiring.

    So … your point about him being about the money and that he easily could have gone somewhere else holds no weight.

    James had no choice but to try to play for the Wizards, hope to be traded, or wait for his contract to expire.

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