Ronald Jerome "Popeye" Jones (born June 17, 1970) is an American professional basketball coach and former player. He is currently an assistant coach for the Indiana Pacers of the National Basketball Association (NBA).
|Born||June 17, 1970|
|Listed height||6 ft 8 in (2.03 m)|
|Listed weight||250 lb (113 kg)|
|High school||Dresden (Dresden, Tennessee)|
|College||Murray State (1988–1992)|
|NBA draft||1992 / Round: 2 / Pick: 41st overall|
|Selected by the Houston Rockets|
|Number||54, 4, 50|
|2003–2004||Golden State Warriors|
|2010–2013||New Jersey / Brooklyn Nets (asst.)|
|2013–present||Indiana Pacers (asst.)|
|Career highlights and awards|
|Career NBA statistics|
|Points||3,726 (7.0 ppg)|
|Rebounds||3,981 (7.4 rpg)|
|Assists||696 (1.3 apg)|
|Stats at Basketball-Reference.com|
Born in Dresden, Tennessee, Jones played college basketball for Murray State University. He finished his college career as a three-time All-Ohio Valley Conference selection, a two-time honorable mention All-America and was named OVC Player of the Year in 1990 and 1991. Jones was honored as the OVC's Athlete of the Year in 1991 and 1992. He is one of only ten MSU men's basketball players to have his jersey retired, his #54 hangs in the rafters of the CFSB Center in Murray, Kentucky. Jones ranks fourth on Murray State's all-time scoring list with 2,057 points. He is also Murray State's all-time leader in rebounds with 1,374, and led the nation in that category in the 1990–91 season. He is the only player in Murray State history to record more than 2,000 points and 1,000 rebounds.
After college, he was selected by the Houston Rockets in the second round (41st overall) of the 1992 NBA draft, but his rights were traded to the Dallas Mavericks for those of former University of Michigan center Eric Riley. After playing professionally in Europe for a season, he played for the Mavericks for three seasons until being traded to the Toronto Raptors for Riley's former Michigan Wolverines teammate, shooting guard Jimmy King. Jones also played with the Boston Celtics, Denver Nuggets, Washington Wizards and Golden State Warriors. He had a second stint with the Mavericks during the 2002–03 season, but played in only 26 of 82 games.
In a game on March 10, 1994, Popeye Jones collected 12 offensive rebounds without a single defensive rebound. The 12 offensive boards without recording a defensive rebound stands as an NBA record since at least 1983.
His best season was in 1995–96 with the Mavericks when he averaged 11.3 points and 10.8 rebounds per game while making 14 of 39 three-point attempts, after averaging 10.3 points and 10.6 rebounds the previous year. He holds NBA career per game averages of 7.0 points and 7.4 rebounds. He once secured 28 rebounds in a single game for the Mavericks in the 1995-96 season, still a team record.
Following his 11-year career year in the NBA, Jones decided to pursue coaching professional basketball. He first worked as a player development coach with the Dallas Mavericks. After spending the 2007–08 through the 2009–10 season with the Mavericks, he earned a coaching job with the New Jersey / Brooklyn Nets as an assistant coach.
On August 14, 2013, he was hired as an assistant coach for the Indiana Pacers. Popeye worked with All-Stars like Roy Hibbert and Paul George, and reached the Eastern Conference Finals his first two years with the team.
His nickname, Popeye, comes from the popular cartoon. His mother chose the name once they got back from the hospital and Popeye was on TV.
Jones's son, Seth, is a professional ice hockey player who was drafted in the 1st round of the 2009 WHL Bantam Draft. He was taken 11th overall by the Everett Silvertips but later traded to the Portland Winterhawks. Seth was then taken with the #4 overall pick in the 2013 NHL Draft by the Nashville Predators. Seth was traded to the Columbus Blue Jackets on January 6, 2016 where he became an All-Star in 2017 and 2019. Jones' younger son Caleb was selected by the Edmonton Oilers in the fourth round, #117 overall, in the 2015 NHL draft.
During Jones' tenure with Denver, he approached Joe Sakic of the Colorado Avalanche about his son playing ice hockey. Sakic advised the elder Jones to enroll his sons in skating classes first. In 2013, Seth Jones played for the United States under-20 ice hockey team which won gold at the world junior tournament. Caleb also was a member of the 2017 United States team which accomplished the same feat.
- "Player Game Finder". Basketball-Reference.com.
- "Nets Name Assistant Coaches to Avery Johnson's Staff". NBA.com. July 19, 2010. Retrieved September 23, 2016.
- "Popeye Jones Added to Pacers' Coaching Staff". NBA.com. August 14, 2013. Retrieved September 23, 2016.
- "Silvertips Select Two Defensemen In First Round". Archived from the original on August 1, 2009.
- "Seth Jones happy to join Nashville Predators". NHL.com.
- "NHL All-Star Game History & Statistics". Hockey-Reference.com. Retrieved 2019-10-11.
- "Story of a shattered life: A single childhood incident pushed Dawn Crey into a downward spiral | Vancouver Sun". November 24, 2001.
- Career statistics and player information from Basketball-Reference.com