CLEVELAND, Ohio — Things started coming together for former WVU star Kevin Jones near the end of his rookie season with Cleveland.
While he averaged just three points per game on the year in total, he put up double figures in points during two of his final three games – one of those a double-double with 11 points and 10 rebounds in a loss to Philadelphia.
“It’s a lot more physical than I thought it would be, but I’m used to the physical nature of basketball from playing in the Big East against all of those big guys,” Jones said Tuesday night. “I got used to that (physicality) by the end of the season. The game also goes way faster. I had to get used to the speed as well.”
Though Jones spent much of this past season going back-and-forth between Cleveland and the D-League, he eventually established himself at the NBA level.
“Mentally, it was kind of draining at times,” Jones said. “But it made me be disciplined and I was always ready, because I never knew what night I was going to play with the Cavs or down in D-League.”
Now comes a bit of a restart for Jones as the Cavs have a new coaching staff with Mike Brown back at the helm. With a non-guaranteed contract for next season, Jones is working on proving himself again this summer.
“I have to go through the summer league, see what’s going on with that and feel out how our new coach likes me,” Jones said. “I just have to go through that kind of a process, but I love being here. It’s a great organization.
“It’s starting all over again for the most part,” he continued. “You don’t know what the new coach will expect of you. The NBA is so unpredictable at times and all you can do is the best you can for yourself and put yourself in the best position. That’s what I’m trying to do now by working out, coming up here, showing my face, and showing the coaches that I’m working hard.”
As for keeping up with the Mountaineers, Jones was able to catch a few games this past season as WVU struggled in his absence.
“They were talented, but it just seemed like nobody had a defined role on the team,” Jones said. “It’s hard to be a good team with guys who don’t know their roles and when everyone wants to do a certain thing. You’re not going to get far with that kind of team.”
Jones, meanwhile, will be back in and out of the Mountain State this summer with a couple of camps – you can check out details here. The full interview with Jones is posted above.