11.09.05

Damon Jones – Not Quite The New Steve Carlton

Posted in Basketball at 1:34 pm by

The Toronto Sun’s Dave Feschuk on Damon Jones’ early days with Cleveland.

Walking into the Cavaliers’ locker room it was safe to expect a loquacious love-in. After an off-season retooling that brought a cadre of new talent to the aid of the formerly under-manned LeBron James, there has been nothing but good vibes coming off the Lake Erie shore. Word had it that the new Cavs ”Donyell Marshall, Larry Hughes and Damon Jones among them ” are getting along famously.

And you could only assume that the animated ringleader of the circle of fast friends would be Jones (above), the not-so-shy journeyman who once declared himself not only the funniest man in the NBA, but the funniest person in the world. Jones was last seen playing Shaquille O’Neal’s loud-mouthed sidekick with the Miami Heat, dubbing himself Mini-He to the Big Behemoth. But last night Jones wasn’t holding court with the media or yucking it up with his new teammates. Approached by a lone reporter before the game, he bristled. “I’m on a revolt,” he said without a smile. “I’m not talking.”

The idea of Jones not talking, of course, is like the prospect of Niagara Falls not misting, the Mona Lisa not smiling. And, indeed, once that was pointed out to Jones, he qualified the terms of his tight-lippedness. “I’m not talking about basketball ever again,” he said. “I’m talking about my life in general. No basketball questions.”

Cleveland media types, who have decided to reciprocate the player’s hoop-related silence with a printed word blackout on Jones-related information, are hypothesizing that he’s unhappy that he was beaten out as the opening-night starting point guard by Eric Snow. Jones’s biggest contribution last night was sticking a first-quarter finger into the chest of Rafael Araujo after the Raptors centre dumped James with a hard but acceptable foul.

Marshall, told of Jones’s boycott, waved a dismissive hand. “That’s his comedian thing,” he said.

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