When James Jones retired a little over a week ago, he immediately took as a job with the Phoenix Suns as vice president of basketball operations. When that happened, some wondered why ‘Champ’ didn’t stick around in Cleveland in some capacity.
Per Joe Vardon on cleveland.com, the Cavs did have interest in hiring Jones and adding to what has become Koby Altman’s front office. The two sides also did discuss what Jones wanted to do in retirement. But according to Vardon’s story, Jones wanted to be in Phoenix, where two seasons near the beginning of his career. And per the report, the Cavs’ dysfunctional summer didn’t have anything to do with Jones’ preferences for the Suns.
Losing Jones is a loss. Yes, he could not provide much on the court anymore. But his voice has mattered in the locker room the last three years and, in a post David Griffin world, he could have helped in communicating with the players at difficult points. So, even while it didn’t pan out, it’s good that the Cavs made an effort to keep Jones around.