James Jones, who spent six seasons as a member of the Miami Heat, joined LeBron James as a member of the Cleveland Cavaliers. On Friday morning, he spoke about his decision on a South Florida morning radio show, co-hosted by Jonathan Zaslow and Joy Taylor (of 104.3 FM/790 AM).
Jones, who played for the University of Miami, was considered a South Florida staple. He said that he will always be a local resident and added that he “won’t be leaving Miami. I just won’t be playing for the Heat anymore.”
He went into detail about his longtime commitment to the Heat organization, explaining that he’s always rooted for just two teams; the Heat and the team he’s playing for. “It makes me sad to leave my teammates, to leave the Heat family,” and that he’ll just “have to cheer at them from afar.”
One of the many rumors surrounding the decision to join James in Cleveland is the fact that Jones, James and former Heat teammate Ray Allen all vacationed together in the Bahamas after the season ended. When asked if the trip was an opportunity to be recruited by James, the ex-Cane shot that down quickly, saying “The trip was solely about family.”
When pressed what the appeal of playing in Cleveland was, Jones mentioned his familiarity with James, former Heat guard/forward Mike Miller and Cavs general manager David Griffin, who was the assistant GM during Jones’ tenure with the Phoenix Suns
Jones also acknowledged that his limited playing time – an issue with Heat head coach Erik Spoelstra that is rumored to have rubbed James the wrong way – played a part in his decision to join Cleveland. “Most definitely,” he answered, but he also recognized that his opportunities to play were limited because he was playing behind future Hall-of-Famers Dwyane Wade and Ray Allen. With Miami’s roster “in flux” and a new system possibly being installed, Jones believed Cleveland gave him the best chance to compete for more playing time.
Jones graciously acknowledged the Heat fan base, explaining they were a very integral part of the Heat family.
You can hear the whole interview here. Stay tuned to All U Can Heat for the latest free agency updates.