Tue. Jun 18th, 2024

Derrick Jones Jr. with the Dallas Mavericks will always bet on themselves, even if the score is 0-2

By meerna Jun12,2024

Derrick Jones Jr. he was always a bet on himself, and that perspective carried him to the Mavericks and continued when Dallas faced an 0-2 deficit heading into Game 3 of the NBA Finals.

For Jones, basketball is a way to promote diligent work among his three children and others.

“I know my kids look up to me,” Jones said Tuesday during a news conference. “Not only my children, but other children look up to me. I just want to set a good enough example of the player I am. … I try to work as hard as I can and never get overworked.”

Last summer, Jones signed a one-year, $2.7 million veteran minimum contract with the Mavericks. He declined the Chicago Bulls’ $3.4 million option to enter free agency, which allowed him to weigh his options.

From journeyman to starter: Derrick Jones Jr. with the Mavs will have something to say in the NBA Finals

Jones said that before he arrived in Dallas, Mavericks coach Jason Kidd told him he would have to work for everything he achieved, including the starting position.

Given his way of thinking, this wasn’t a problem for the striker.

“I told him it was something I was used to,” Jones said. “I have worked through everything I have ever had. I told him I wasn’t going to stop now. If you give me a chance to work, I will do it. Now I’m here.”

Thanks to his work ethic and offensive versatility, Jones has established himself as a regular starter this season.

Jones has the opportunity to sign a huge contract as an unrestricted free agent this offseason, but right now he said his focus is on helping the Mavericks secure their first win in the series at American Airlines Center in Game 3 on Wednesday.

“They protected the house, they did their job,” Jones said. “They also (did) what they were supposed to do. Our turn. When we come home, we play to protect.

Jones said winning the Western Conference championship wasn’t enough. He had a similar winless situation in the 2020 NBA Finals, when the Los Angeles Lakers had a two-game lead over Jones’ Miami Heat. The Heat won Game 3, but lost the series 4-2.

Jones said he is willing to do whatever it takes and risk everything he has to avoid losing the title for the second time in his career.

“I want to win,” he said. “I want to go out there and I want this equipment.”

For more Mavericks coverage from The Dallas Morning News, click here.

By meerna

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