Earlier today, the Golden State Warriors announced that first round pick Damian Jones would be assigned to the Santa Cruz Warriors (D-League affiliate) in order to find some much needed playing time. Jones, who suffered an off-season pectoral injury that required surgery, will soon see his first minutes on court in a Warriors jersey.
Quick question: Is he the next Amar’e Stoudemire?
Okay, okay. Maybe we should back up.
Here’s the press release from the Warriors:
Warriors assign rookie center Damian Jones to Santa Cruz Warriors. RELEASE: pic.twitter.com/BoQGG8uztL— Warriors PR (@WarriorsPR) November 21, 2016
“Jones will begin practicing with the Warriors’ D-League affiliate this week.”
He’s here! Or, he’s back! Or, wait... He is set to maybe, potentially begin the journey towards the big lights, towards the NBA.
Jones, who stands 6’ 11.5” (or 7’ 0”, according to the Warriors), has every physical tool in the shed. He’s huge. He’s springy. He can run the floor. He has great length (7’ 3.75” wingspan, with an 8’ 11” reach, as measured at the NBA combine). He might not be an Andre Drummond-level physical player, but he sure as heck would fit in well on this athletic Warriors team.
Here are some fun videos. I’ll let your mind fill in the blanks.
Oh man, those highlights are super duper awesome. Plus, it seems like he has the shooting stroke and the potential to really stretch the court eventually.
(This is from about a month ago)
But, I want to go back to one particular play. It’s the second play from that first highlight video. Lets all watch again, shall we?
Forget the stakes, and forget the time on the clock. Sure, given those stakes, and given the time on the clock, that dunk was spectacular. But, purely from an explosion-in-the-moment standpoint, and purely from a form-standpoint, does that remind you of someone else?
Does it remind you of...say...
Oh God, why did that dunk have to be against the Warriors???! Also, man, #RIPAnthonyTolliver. Also, wait a second. What with this recent string of successes (minus the 3-1, of which we have agreed to collectively bury and forget), let’s take a moment to remember who was on the floor for the Warriors when Stoudemire dunked on their souls.
So, there’s Stephen Curry, obviously, and Anthony Tolliver (RIP). And then we have, let’s see... I make it, um, Anthony Morrow (#22, headband), Monta Ellis (see you later tonight), and, oh god, is that Reggie Williams?
Man, memories, huh?
Anyways, back to the dunks. Check out the initial jump. Check out the explosion. Check out the general bad-assery of the execution.
Now, for some stats, aka #science.
Amar’e Stoudemire: 6’ 11”, 245 lbs.
Damian Jones: 6’ 11” (or whatever), 244 lbs.
Amar’e Stoudemire: Age 20 season (rookie year): 13.5 pts, 8.8 rbs, 47.2% FG in 31.3 minutes/game. 16.2 PER.
Damian Jones: Age 20 season (Junior year at Vanderbilt): 13.9 pts, 6.9 rbs, 59% FG in 26.2 minutes/game. 23.4 PER.
So, yeah, okay, okay, Stoudemire was playing against NBA talent and Jones was messing around in the SEC, but whatever. I’m not going to let your nay-saying get in the way of my iron-clad, proves-everything #science.
Over here at Golden State of Mind, we pride ourselves on being articulate, reasonable, and rational.
[waits 20 seconds, trying to stifle my crazed laughter, failing]
Nah. Lol, that’s pretty much false.
Over here at GSoM, we pride ourselves on having the vision to say silly things like, “Damian Jones is the next Amar’e Stoudemire,” and then having some half-facts to back it up. But, I’ll tell you this much. If Jones makes an impact in the NBA soon after being called up (assuming he is, indeed called up this year), and if he has a couple of insane, mind-bending dunks or court-stretching plays, we’ll be celebrating hard in our slack room.
I guarantee it.
(I blame Ivan for getting my brain a-whirling.)