Bernard James capable of 'smackdown' leadership
Then again, Bernard James will be far from the typical NBA rookie. The big man from Florida State is a 27-year-old former Air Force staff sergeant who served tours of duty in Iraq, Afghanistan and Qatar.
Needless to say, the Mavs like the defensive-minded center’s discipline and toughness, as is the case with fellow second-round pick Jae Crowder, a rugged small forward whom coach Rick Carlisle praised as “one of the two or three hardest-playing players in the draft.”
And James, who planned to return to the Air Force as a commissioned officer before the NBA became a realistic goal, certainly has proven that he has the steady but firm hand of a leader.
“I think I was pretty fair with my guys,” James said of his Air Force leadership experience. “But sometimes, you get a knucklehead and you got to put the smackdown on him.”
Sounds like the Mavs could have used James during Josh Howard’s days in Dallas, huh?
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