Steve "Snapper" Jones

Stephen Howard "Snapper" Jones (October 17, 1942 – November 25, 2017) was an American basketball player in the American Basketball Association (ABA) and National Basketball Association who later become a television analyst. He was a three-time ABA All-Star. Jones' brother Nick also played in the ABA and NBA.[1] During his time in the ABA, Jones picked up the moniker "Snapper" but he never revealed how it came to be.[2]

Steve Jones
Personal information
BornOctober 17, 1942
Alexandria, Louisiana
DiedNovember 25, 2017 (aged 75)
Houston, Texas
NationalityAmerican
Listed height6 ft 5 in (1.96 m)
Listed weight205 lb (93 kg)
Career information
High schoolFranklin (Portland, Oregon)
CollegeOregon (1961–1964)
NBA draft1964 / Undrafted
Playing career1967–1976
PositionGuard
Number12, 11, 23, 15
Career history
1967–1968Oakland Oaks
1968–1971New Orleans Buccaneers / Memphis Pros
1971–1973Dallas Chaparrals
1973–1974Carolina Cougars
1974Denver Rockets
1974–1975Spirits of St. Louis
1975–1976Portland Trail Blazers
Career highlights and awards
Stats at Basketball-Reference.com

Biography

Basketball career

Jones was born in Alexandria, Louisiana, but grew up in Portland, Oregon, where he led Franklin High School to the state basketball championship in 1959. He went on to a standout career at the University of Oregon, pacing the Ducks in scoring during the 1963–64 season.[3]

Jones earned ABA All-Star honors three times during eight ABA seasons, averaging 16.0 points while scoring over 10,000 points in 640 games. Jones played for the Oakland Oaks (1967–68), New Orleans Buccaneers (1968–1970), Memphis Pros (1970–71), Dallas Chaparrals (1971–1973), Carolina Cougars (1973–1974), Denver Rockets (1974) and Spirits of St. Louis (1974–1975). Jones was a three time ABA All Star, shot 34% from three-point range and never in his career had a technical foul called against him.

Jones then jumped leagues and finished his professional playing career in the NBA out with the Portland Trail Blazers in 1975–76.

Broadcasting career

Jones' broadcasting career began in 1976 (the season after he retired as a player with the Portland Trail Blazers), when he became a color commentator for CBS. He was part of the network's crew that handled the Blazers championship game against the Philadelphia 76ers. He also served as color analyst for the Blazers that year and stayed on into the 1990s. Jones' other broadcasting credits include stints with TNT, TBS, USA Network and the Denver Nuggets. Jones joined NBC shortly after the network obtained the rights to telecast NBA games prior to the 1990-91 season.

After serving as an analyst on The NBA on NBC for 13 years, Jones then worked the same position for NBA TV.

One of Jones' career highlights was his assignment as basketball analyst with Chick Hearn and Jim Durham in Barcelona, as part of the NBC coverage of men's basketball during the 1992 Olympic Games. In that capacity he worked the equivalent of almost one-half of an NBA season, 36 games, in just two weeks.

When he worked at NBC, Jones was typically paired up with former NBA teammate Bill Walton for NBA games due to the point-counterpoint style of banter between the two. He gained notoriety while announcing with Bill Walton for reining in his verbose outbursts, often responding to Walton's sometimes sensational statements with phrases such as "Bill, you can't be serious..." Though they typically argued and disagreed during games, the two had a mutual respect for each other and remained good friends. They reunited on Walton's short-lived TV show Bill Walton's Long Strange Trip.

Personal life and death

Jones' health began declining in 2005 when he suffered a ruptured appendix while on assignment in New York. His younger brother, Nick Jones stated, "My brother was a very strong guy. He fought for life for a long time."[2] Jones died on November 25, 2017, in Houston, Texas, at the age of 75.[3] [2]

He was survived by his younger brother, Nick Jones (his older brother Roman had died earlier the same week), his mother & sisters, and his wife Carol.[2]

References

  1. ^ "Nick Jones ABA & NBA stats". basketball-reference.com. Sports Reference LLC. Retrieved September 12, 2014.
  2. ^ a b c d Eggers, Kerry (December 2, 2017), "'SNAPPER': REMEMBERING THE ICONIC STEVE JONES", The Oregonian
  3. ^ a b Canzano, John (November 25, 2017), "Former Trail Blazer Steve "Snapper" Jones dead at the age of 75", The Oregonian

External links

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