Team Member Information
TRADED TO HOUSTON ROCKETS.
Michael Lamont James was born June 23, 1975 in Amityville, New York. He played collegiate ball at Duquesne University where he ranked third all-time in steals with 201, fifth in assists with 348 and 10th in points with a whopping 1,411. He was also named to the all Atlantic 10 Conference 1st team in his senior year, but was not drafted into the NBA.
Mike James 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 Rockets and the Toronto Raptors. 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 Rockets to the Toronto Raptors for Rafer Alston. James was a very strong contributor to a Toronto Raptor team. He was the second leading scorer on the team, behind Chris Bosh. As the starting point guard for the Raptors during the 2005-2006 season, James averaged 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. Mike 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. While playing for Toronto in the 2005-06 season, he reached a career high of 39 points in a win against the Detroit Pistons.
Mike James is an excellent 3-point shooter, and also possesses the dribbling skills and quickness to drive past defenders to the basket. He has shown a propensity for firing off quick 3-pointers, which throughout his career have either won games or lost games at the last second. This has led to criticism by some fans that, for a point guard, he shoots the ball too much rather than pass it to the right teammates at the right time.
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, with a trade kicker clause, which would raise his salary by 15% automatically if he were to be traded. The Minneapolis Star-Tribune wrote of his big 2005-2006 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 playmaking duties."
Mike James is a tough guard that could help the Timberwolves win some games. He has the ability to shoot and dribble and, yes, pass to his teammates. Fans doubt he will be around more than a few seasons, but it will be interesting to see what this Minnesota Timberwolf can do!
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