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?
103.3 FM ESPN PODCASTS
Play Podcast ESPN NBA analyst Jalen Rose joins Fitzsimmons & Durrett to talk about the NBA playoffs.
Play Podcast Mavericks coach Rick Carlisle gives his take on the contrasting styles of the Pacers and Knicks, Carmelo Anthony, Bulls-Heat, Tom Thibodeau, the state of the West and more.
Play Podcast Chuck Cooperstein joins Fitzsimmons & Durrett to talk about who he would rather have if forced to choose between Dwight Howard and Chris Paul.
Play Podcast Tim MacMahon joins Fitzsimmons & Durrett to discuss the possibility of Chris Paul joining the Mavericks and break down what kind of pitch Mark Cuban would have to make to the NBA's best point guard.
Play Podcast ESPN.com senior NBA writer Marc Stein joins Fitzsimmons & Durrett to touch on the storylines in the NBA playoffs and offer a Mavs perspective.
Play Podcast Rick Carlisle joins Chuck Cooperstein and Tim MacMahon to discuss the Mavericks' disappointing season and what needs to happen for them to get back to the playoffs.
Play Podcast Donnie Nelson joins Chuck Cooperstein and Tim MacMahon to discuss the Mavericks' season and the importance of this summer.
Play Podcast Rick Carlisle joins Galloway & Company to discuss the Mavericks playing after being eliminated from playoff contention, whom he wants to keep for next season and much more.