Perry Jones III joins 66ers with goal to find rhythm
BY KEVIN HENRY World Correspondent
Wednesday, December 05, 2012
When Perry Jones III was taken by the Oklahoma City Thunder as the 28th pick of the 2012 NBA draft, many saw the big man out of Baylor as yet another weapon in the Thunder's ever-growing arsenal of young talent. However, the role of an NBA rookie isn't always as clear as it originally seems.
After appearing primarily in late-game mop-up work for the Thunder early in the season, Jones was sent by the Thunder to the Tulsa 66ers to get more playing time.
Jones' time in the NBA Development League begins Wednesday when the 66ers host the Sioux Falls Skyforce in an 11 a.m. matinee at the SpiritBank Event Center.
Jones, who has appeared in 10 games for the Thunder and averaged 1.2 points and 1.4 rebounds in 7.6 minutes, knows what is being asked of him during his time in Tulsa.
"I have to get some playing time and find my rhythm," he said. "When you're playing for a championship-caliber team like Oklahoma City, it's hard for new guys to get that playing time. I have to get that game experience here and be ready for when I go back to Oklahoma City."
It's been a time of transition for the 6-foot-11 Jones, who many expected to be taken in the top 10 of the NBA draft before whispers of knee problems caused teams to back away. Now, five months later and injury-free, Jones is happy to be a member of the Thunder organization.
"It's tough after being 'the man' in high school and college to suddenly not knowing if you're even going to play that night," Jones said. "I'm focusing on staying humble and working hard in practice. Playing hard in everything I do is what I've been learning as a part of the Thunder. We've never had a bad practice. Things may get very heated between us during practice because we're all competitive but, at the end of the day, we're all brothers."
Tulsa head coach Darko Rajakovic has liked what he has seen from Jones in practice.
"Perry Jones is a great athlete. He brings a lot of energy to every practice," Rajakovic said. "We believe that having him with us will further help his development as a player."
Jones joins fellow Thunder-assigned players Jeremy Lamb and Daniel Orton on the 66ers roster.
Jones said he believes being on the court for the 66ers during meaningful minutes will greatly help in his adjustment to the NBA.
"When you're playing during a blowout, things aren't as intense on the court," he said. "Any time I play in the D-League, I'm expecting a lot of toughness and competitiveness. I'm ready to play."
Original Print Headline: Jones hopes to find rhythm with 66ers
66ers up next
Vs. Sioux Falls 11 a.m. Wednesday
Radio: KAKC am1300