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Mike Lamont James

Michael Lamont James (born June 23, 1975 in ) is an American professional Basketball player currently with the New Orleans Hornets of the NBA.

Early yearsEdit

The youngest of seven siblings, Mike's childhood was not without challenges. Crime, drugs, and violence troubled his neighborhood streets. Lack of social and economic opportunity made urban living grueling and difficult for Mike and his family. Undirected and uninspired, Mike found solace on the courts. More than recreation, basketball became his bloodline and a way to stay out of trouble. Mike's commitment and daily practice would soon payoff as he was invited to join the Amityville H.S. basketball squad. Unmatched and unbeatable, Mike performed extremely well. Despite his courtside accomplishments and extraordinary talent, no one believed Mike would ever play Division I basketball. Upon graduation, Mike proved every naysayer wrong when he earned a basketball scholarship to Duquesne University in Pittsburgh, PA.

College careerEdit

James had a college career at Duquesne University that saw him finish ranked third all-time in steals (201), fifth in assists (348) and 10th in points (1,411) at the school and included being named to the all Atlantic 10 Conference 1st team in his senior year. However, he was not drafted.

Professional careerEdit

Mike remained positive and opted for a start in the European professional leagues instead. Mike enjoyed several stellar seasons as an integral player with both the French and Austrian teams He began his NBA career when he signed as a Free agent with the Miami Heat during the 2001–02 season. He has since played for the Boston Celtics, the Detroit Pistons, the Milwaukee Bucks, Houston and the Toronto Raptors averaging 11.9 points per game for his career. As the starting Point guard for the Raptors during the 2005–06 season, he averaged career highs of 20.3 points, 5.8 assists and 3.3 rebounds per game and shot 47% from the field including 44.2% from 3-point range which ranked among the league leaders. James is the first undrafted player in the history of the NBA to average at least 20 points a game in a season.

On April 11, 2006, Mike James became the first Toronto Raptor to score 30 or more points in 4 consecutive games, a feat that even the high scoring Vince Carter never accomplished.

James was a member of the Pistons' 2004 NBA Championship team as a reserve. He and fellow reserve guard Lindsey Hunter formed a formidable defensive guard combination nicknamed the "Pit Bulls" by Rasheed Wallace, because of their aggressive nature on defense.

On October 4 2005, James was traded from the Houston to the Toronto Raptors for Rafer Alston. James was a very strong contributor to a Toronto Raptor team that finished 27–55. He was the second leading scorer on the team, behind Chris Bosh.

In spite of his strong play during the 2005–06 season for the Toronto Raptors, he has been criticized as being somewhat of a one-dimensional player. Despite being an above-average shooter from the point guard spot, his playmaking abilities have been called into question at times as well as his commitment to defense, in stark contrast to his "pit bull" days with the Pistons. The Minneapolis Star-Tribune wrote of his big 2005–06 season: "Previously, James had started only 68 games, so some scouts wondered if those numbers were an aberration. Others felt his impending free agency affected his play, prompting him to seek stats at the expense of play-making duties."

While playing for Toronto in the 2005–06 season, he reached a career high of 39 points in a win against the Detroit Pistons.

On July 11 2006, James signed a Free agent contract with the Minnesota Timberwolves. The deal is reported to be for four years, with a player option on the last year, and with a trade kicker clause, which would raise his salary by 15% automatically if he were to be traded. Much of the 2006–07 season has been marred by mediocre play, which has limited his minutes to 25, down from the 37 he averaged during his career year in Toronto.

On February 21 2008 it was announced that James and teammate Bonzi Wells would be traded to the New Orleans Hornets for Bobby Jackson, and Adam Haluska. This ends his second short tenure as a Houston Rocket.

PersonalEdit

Mike is married to Angela, and they have four daughters, Jadon, Amaya, Michal, and McKinley.

Mike is the founder of the Mike James Scholarship Foundation (MJSF), Mike strives to help at-risk students from disenfranchised communities get financial assistance to pursue their post-secondary education. Awarding scholarships ranging from $250 to $10,000 the MJSF helps young people reach their full potential and realize their higher educational dreams. Mike is also creator of the Mike James Basketball Experience, a summer basketball and life skills camp for boys and girls ages 8-18. Since its inception, the Mike James Basketball Experience has hosted over 12 camps and served over a thousand kids across the country.

Amityville, NY hosts an annual Mike James Day at Bolden Mack Park. It is a free community event that includes health screenings, a street ball tournament, and an old school concert among other things. It is held at The Mike James Courts in Bolden Mack Park.

On top of his philanthropic pursuits, Mike is President of MAJA Development Company, a custom-home development company in Texas.

His personal motto is, "Failure is not an option".

NBA career statistics Edit

Regular season Edit

|- | align="left" | 2001–02 | align="left" | Miami Heat | 15 || 0 || 7.9 || .349 || .381 || .571 || .9 || 1.3 || .4 || .1 || 2.8 |- | align="left" | 2002–03 | align="left" | Miami Heat | 78 || 8 || 22.1 || .373 || .294 || .732 || 1.9 || 3.2 || .8 || .1 || 7.8 |- | align="left" | 2003–04 | align="left" | Boston Celtics | 55 || 55 || 30.6 || .418 || .381 || .800 || 3.2 || 4.4 || 1.3 || .0 || 10.7 |- | align="left" | 2003–04 | align="left" | Detroit Pistons | 26 || 0 || 19.7 || .401 || .364 || .844 || 2.2 || 3.7 || 1.0 || .0 || 6.3 |- | align="left" | 2004–05 | align="left" | Milwaukee Bucks | 47 || 0 || 24.8 || .446 || .382 || .744 || 2.6 || 3.9 || .9 || .1 || 11.4 |- | align="left" | 2004–05 | align="left" | Houston | 27 || 5 || 25.6 || .433 || .393 || .764 || 3.2 || 2.9 || .9 || .1 || 12.4 |- | align="left" | 2005 | align="left" | Toronto Raptors | 79 || 79 || 37.0 || .469 || .442 || .837 || 3.3 || 5.8 || .9 || .0 || 20.3 |- | align="left" | 2006 | align="left" | Minnesota | 82 || 65 || 25.2 || .422 || .372 || .837 || 2.0 || 3.6 || .7 || .1 || 10.1 |- | align="left" | 2007 | align="left" | Houston | 33 || 1 || 16.3 || .350 || .324 || .786 || 1.6 || 1.6 || .5 || .1 || 6.5 |- | align="left" | 2007 | align="left" | New Orleans Hornets | 21 || 0 || 8.7 || .344 || .304 || 1.000 || .8 || .3 || .2 || .0 || 2.7 |- | align="left" | Career | align="left" | | 463 || 213 || 25.1 || .425 || .378 || .803 || 2.4 || 3.6 || .8 || .0 || 10.7


Playoffs Edit

|- | align="left" | 2003–04 | align="left" | Detroit Pistons | 22 || 0 || 8.9 || .396 || .429 || .563 || 1.2 || 1.1 || .2 || .0 || 2.6 |- | align="left" | 2004–05 | align="left" | Houston | 7 || 0 || 24.4 || .468 || .000 || .958 || 1.9 || 2.3 || .9 || .3 || 11.6 |- | align="left" | 2007 | align="left" | New Orleans Hornets | 4 || 0 || 7.0 || .333 || .400 || 1.000 || .3 || .3 || .5 || .0 || 3.0 |- | align="left" | Career | align="left" | | 33 || 0 || 11.9 || .425 || .286 || .810 || 1.2 || 1.2 || .4 || .1 || 4.5


ReferencesEdit

External linksEdit

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