Mavericks' Dahntay Jones recalls time in NBA D-League

10/11/2012 10:27 PM

10/23/2012 5:47 PM

DALLAS -- More than four years ago, when Dahntay Jones and his representatives were trying to find a suitor where he could continue his NBA career, he did something veteran players usually don't do.

He swallowed his pride and started playing in the NBA Developmental League.

After having nearly five seasons under his belt, Jones was waived by the Sacramento Kings on Feb. 16, 2008. He didn't receive another NBA contract until he signed with the Denver Nuggets on July 30, 2008.

In between, while haggling with various NBA teams on a new contract, Jones made the unconventional decision to play for the Fort Wayne Mad Ants of the D-League. For Jones, that meant an extremely new way of traveling from one game to the next.

"We were driving the buses and taking taxis," said Jones, a 6-foot-6 shooting guard whom the Dallas Mavericks acquired from Indiana in a July trade. "It was what it was.

"It was fun, though. It was a good experience."

Jones said he had no problems putting the glamorous life in the NBA aside to play for the Mad Ants.

"I was trying to negotiate another deal, but I wanted to still play," he said. "I love to play basketball, and rather than sit at home and just be 'Hollywood' and wait and negotiate, I'd rather go and play some basketball.

"It was a good way to vent and still be able to get better and show teams that I love the game of basketball."

Jones acknowledged that the biggest difference between the NBA and D-League was the players' makeup. While he was down in the minors, he tried to be supportive of those who had NBA dreams.

"The only difference in talent level is just the approach, because guys love to win and will do anything to win in the NBA," Jones said. "Some of those guys down there don't know what it takes to win basketball games and don't know you have to work hard.

"You just have to get them on that right track, and that's what I tried to do, is just explain to them that guys are working extremely harder, and that's why they're in the NBA and they're not.

"If I could make an impression on anybody, I just tried to do that while I was down there.''

Dwain Price 817-390-7760

Twitter: @DwainPrice

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