The Rex Chapman Show: James Jones on Suns' culture change, player-to-GM leap
2021-05-04

On the latest episode of The Rex Chapman Show, Rex and Josh Hopkins are joined by James Jones - a three-time NBA champion and the general manager of the Phoenix Suns. Once described by LeBron James as his favorite player, Jones describes his path to the NBA and how he transitioned to the Suns’ front office.

How did Jones take his mindset as a player and translate that to his GM role on the team with the NBA’s best record?

4:00 - How did James Jones become such a great shooter? It's all in the family for Jones, who grew up playing every sport, and had several family members play basketball at the college level.

6:45 - The impact of playing multiple sports on him, and how growing up well-rounded athletes has benefitted a number of NBA players.

10:45 - How going to the University of Miami gave James more than just basketball. He met his wife Destiny, and grew into the man he would become as he continued his goal of becoming a professional basketball player.

14:50 - The pressures the Phoenix Suns are under now to win are not too different from what Jones experienced as a player with the Miami Heat where they go from low expectations to trying to win multiple championships.

19:30 - What does James Jones think a General Manager is supposed to do? Jones sees himself as a problem-solver first and the most important thing he does is to help his people, and the Suns organization.

27:45 - The Acquisition of Chris Paul and how the Phoenix Suns ascended to the top team in the Western Conference.

33:30 - It's not just the veteran guys like CP3 and Jae Crowder coming in, but there's been serious growth from a number of the younger players like DeAndre Ayton, Mikal Bridges, Jalen Smith and many others.

36:00 - How Devin Booker has grown as a leader thanks to the arrival of Chris Paul, and how they take care of each other especially those crucial moments late in games.

39:00 - After being called the greatest teammate LeBron James has ever had, how does Jones evaluate talent and build a team that is good enough to win a championship? How does he look for great teammates that care about winning and care about their teammates having success as well.

42:30 - The piece of the Miami Heat culture Jones took with him to Phoenix was to value winning above all and the overall impact playing for Pat Riley had on him as a player, a GM and as an individual.

46:30 - In a league that often times sees players as an asset, or a commodity, Jones stresses you have to treat everyone as people and how important that is to sustain a winning culture. If you're a basketball player for 3 hours a day, what type of person are you for the 21 other hours?

51:30 - How genuine Robert Sarver has been about winning, and how he wants to keep pushing the team to do more, and take that next step towards being a championship contender. 

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