The Phoenix Suns announced general manager James Jones as the 2020-21 NBA Executive of the Year on Sunday ahead of Game 1 of the Western Conference Finals. As a player, Jones won championships with LeBron James on both the Miami Heat and Cleveland Cavaliers.
Naturally, LeBron took to Twitter to congratulate his former teammate:
YELLING CONGRATS to my brother James “CHAMP” Jones on Executive of the Year!! 🔥🔥🔥🔥🔥
— LeBron James (@KingJames) June 20, 2021
Jones entered the NBA as a second-round pick in 2003. He spent time with the Indiana Pacers, Suns and Portland Trail Blazers before joining the Heat in 2008. He played for the Heat until 2014, winning titles with LeBron in 2012 and 2013 while going to four consecutive NBA Finals.
When James left South Beach to return to the Cavs, Jones went with him. They went to three more NBA Finals together, winning the 2016 title by erasing the 3-1 deficit against the 73-win Golden State Warriors.
Jones’ playing career ended in 2017, and he immediately joined the Suns’ front office. The 40-year-old has done an amazing job building up Phoenix after a lengthy playoff drought, with several key moves made last offseason to turn the team into an elite juggernaut.
The biggest move, of course, was acquiring Chris Paul (shoutout to the Banana Boat crew) from the Oklahoma City Thunder. Paul is still an elite player at 36 years old, and he elevated the Suns to contender status.
However, don’t forget about acquisitions like Jae Crowder and Torrey Craig, who have both played key roles in these playoffs after joining the Suns in the last year.
LeBron James knows and respects James Jones, so he’s surely not surprised to see him having so much success as an executive.