Nice start: USF's Jones wins NBA title as Mavs rookie
Dirk Nowitzki had to wait 13 years to win an NBA title. Dominique Jones took a quicker route, watching from the bench as Nowitzki led the Mavericks past the Miami Heat on Sunday night to clinch a championship for Dallas.
(Want to see a pic of Jones with the NBA championship trophy? He added one here on his Facebook page, which is public.)
Jones, a first-round draft pick who was acquired by the Mavericks in a draft-night trade with Memphis, missed the final four months of his rookie season with a foot injury, but played only sparingly with the Mavericks, totaling 42 points in 18 games all season. He has been a regular on the Dallas bench this postseason, cheering for his teammates in their playoff run. He also had the honor of simulating Miami star LeBron James in practice as the Mavericks prepared to face the Heat.
It's believed that Jones is the first former USF player to win an NBA title, and his luck in finding a quick path to an NBA ring can't be overstated. Former USF guard Chucky Atkins spent 11 seasons in the NBA and made so much as a conference final just once, getting swept in four games as a member of the 2002-03 Pistons.