“I really liked his game,” Gentry says. “He was very tough, very athletic. He could guard different positions, and he was extremely hungry. When someone has that level of talent, but he doesn’t see failing in the NBA as an option, you have something unique.” Dejean-Jones averaged 5.6 points and 3.4 rebounds before his season ended with a fractured right wrist. Yet he was, at long last, an NBA player. “I think he really grew with us,” Gentry says. “The difficult phase had passed, and he attained his goal. I think he realized he needed to change his ways to stay in the league. He was smart enough to do that.”
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People familiar with Bryce and Chrystal’s difficult relationship insist they discouraged the trip. Shabazz Muhammad, the Minnesota Timberwolves forward who trained under Jamerson with Dejean-Jones in the offseason, says he urged his friend to skip Dallas and take a trek with him to Las Vegas. “He worked so hard, I wanted him to come along, have fun, relax,” Muhammad recalls. “But he wasn’t changing his plans.” Jamerson, meanwhile, hated the idea of Dejean-Jones going to Dallas. “He’d never been there; he didn’t know the city,” Jamerson says. “I was worried, and I told him I’d fly his girlfriend and daughter out to California for him. He didn’t want that, but I should have insisted. I really should have. It’s my greatest regret.”
No charges were filed against the teacher. Under Texas law, a person is allowed to use deadly force to defend themselves in their home. It also says a person using force cannot provoke an attacker or be involved in criminal activity at the time. The teacher agreed to talk about the shooting publicly for the first time to B/R Mag because, he says, too much misinformation has been making the rounds on social media. There were rumors that Dejean-Jones was robbing the apartment; rumors that the teacher fired for no reason. “I believe the family deserves to at least know what really happened,” he says. “They deserve an opportunity to hear the story.”
The New Orleans Pelicans honored the memory of Bryce Dejean-Jones in summer league by having their players wear a ‘BDJ’ patch on the left side of their uniforms. On Friday, Dejean-Jones’ mother, Franchesca, came to the Las Vegas to watch the Pelicans play their final Samsung NBA Summer League game against the NBA Development League team at UNLV’s Thomas & Mack Center. Dejean-Jones died from a gunshot wound on May 28 while visiting his girlfriend in Dallas.
The last time Jameel McKay talked to Bryce Dejean-Jones, the two former Iowa State teammates discussed their dream scenario of reuniting in the NBA as members of the New Orleans Pelicans. Six weeks later, McKay has joined the Pelicans and is part of their summer league team, but his friend is gone. Dejean-Jones died May 28 in Dallas, while visiting the city to celebrate his daughter’s first birthday. McKay and his New Orleans summer teammates are honoring the memory of Dejean-Jones, who was 23 years old, by wearing a “BDJ” patch on the left chest of their uniforms. The Pelicans play their first game tonight against the Los Angeles Lakers (9:30 Central) on ESPN. “I talked to Bryce two days before the incident,” McKay said of a late-May phone call. “I was hoping I’d play for the Pelicans in summer league (if McKay went undrafted), because I knew they were interested in me, so we were talking about being teammates again. “When I heard about what happened, it was just shocking. Everyone called me for confirmation, but I couldn’t give it. I didn’t know.”
“Every time I was around Bryce, I got the sense he knew where he wanted to be and he wasn’t going to let anything stop him from getting there,” said the 26-year-old Drew, trying to control his emotions. “He was fearless. He wasn’t afraid of the challenge and embraced it, and he got to achieve his goal of making it to the NBA.
Justin Verrier: Pelicans GM Dell Demps had the following to say about Bryce Dejean-Jones, who died of a gunshot wound in late May: “We’re devastated by the fact that he’s no longer with us. We went through a lot of adversities and challenges last season, but nothing compares to the loss of Bryce. He loved our teammates and everyone, and he’ll be missed. Our condolences go out to his family.”
Contacted Saturday, Pelicans coach Alvin Gentry said he was stunned by Dejean-Jones’ death and his players, including Anthony Davis, took the tragic news hard. ”We were looking forward to working with him this summer and see where he could go with us as a player,” Gentry said. ”One of the last games he played with us, he had 17 points and had nine rebounds against the Lakers (Feb. 4). I just thought he was aggressive as a player and he was getting better.”
The NBA security report, which came from the league’s senior vice president and chief security officer, was sent to all 30 teams, ESPN reported. It also indicated that a toxicology report on Dejean-Jones is a couple of weeks away, but it is “unknown at this time if a substance played a part in the incident.”
The Dallas Police Department is expected to provide an update on Tuesday, but no charges have been filed. Under Texas law, a person is allowed to use deadly force to defend himself/herself in his/her home.
Marc J. Spears: Via NBA security report obtained by ESPN, Bryce Dejean-Jones was calling for his GF when apartment owner shot him through his bedroom door.
A Dallas resident told police he heard someone enter his apartment by kicking open the front door, police spokesman DeMarquis Black said in a statement. The resident said “he called out to the individual, but was not answered,” and when the resident’s bedroom door was kicked open, the resident fired his gun, police said. Dejean-Jones collapsed in the breezeway, police said. He was transported to a local hospital, where he died from his injuries, Black said.
This was the first time Dejean-Jones visited her new apartment, Nichols said. Later that night Dejean-Jones came back to the apartment complex but went to the wrong unit on the third floor, just below his girlfriend’s fourth-floor apartment, Nichols said. Police had no immediate response to Nichols’ comments. “There is no information that suggests the deceased Bryce Dejean-Jones knew the apartment resident, or was armed as he entered the apartment,” Black said.
Paul George: Dejean-Jones I don’t know you and you don’t know me but you’re my brother! Messed my trip up hearing about someone talented taken from not only our game and his family but from this world! We gotta do better! God take this one cause you’re the only one with a plan for him! #RestEasyBro
Dejean-Jones’ coach at Iowa State, Fred Hoiberg said he was “deeply saddened to learn the tragic news about Bryce.” “I’m grateful that our paths crossed in this life. Bryce was a passionate and talented player that lived out his dream of playing in the NBA through hard work and perseverance. It’s an incredibly sad day for me and all of Iowa State University. Our thoughts and prayers are with Bryce’s family,” Hoiberg, the Chicago Bulls head coach said in a news release.
Marc J. Spears: NBPA statement on passing of Bryce Dejean-Jones. NBPA STATEMENT ON THE PASSING OF BRYCE DEJEAN-JONES: National Basketball Players Association Executive Director Michele Roberts released the following statement on the passing of New Orleans Pelicans guard Bryce Dejean-Jones: “The National Basketball Players Association and its entire membership mourn the loss of Bryce Dejean-Jones. Bryce’s dedication and hard work on his journey to the NBA will forever serve as an inspiration to us all. Our thoughts and prayers go out to Bryce’s family, friends, his teammates, the entire New Orleans Pelican organization and his fans throughout the world during this difficult time.” https://t.co/VnISXroYBz
Justin Verrier: Confirms what I’ve heard: Dejean-Jones got into a fight with a girlfriend, left apt., then broke into the wrong one.
“Bryce was such an incredible person to represent as a client, and I just want to stress that everyone give the family courtesy during this time,” Dejean-Jones’ agent, Scott Nichols, told The Vertical. “Bryce was turning the corner in his life and in his career. He was an undrafted player, someone who had so much turmoil throughout his life. Now, he had a contract with the Pelicans and was rehabbing well with his broken wrist. He had come such a long way and we were all proud of him.”
The NBA issued the following statement: “The NBA family mourns the tragic loss of New Orleans Pelicans guard Bryce Dejean-Jones. Bryce inspired countless people with his hard work and perseverance on his journey to the NBA, and he had a bright future in our league. Our thoughts and sympathies are with Bryce’s family and the entire Pelicans organization during this difficult time.”
Dorell Wright: RIP Bryce Dejean-Jones!!! Sad sad news man!!!!!
Evan Fournier: RIP… #NBABrotherhood
Tobias Harris: Rest in Peace
The New Orleans Pelicans released the following statement on the passing of Bryce Dejean-Jones: “It is with deep sadness that the Pelicans organization acknowledges the sudden passing of Bryce Dejean-Jones. We are devastated at the loss of this young man’s life who had such a promising future ahead of him. Our thoughts and prayers are with Bryce’s family during this difficult time.”
Justin Verrier: Bryce Dejean-Jones died of a gunshot to the abdomen, his agent, Scott Nichols, confirmed. He was 23. Signed his first contract this year.
NBA player Bryce Dejean-Jones was killed early Saturday after police say he “kicked open the front door” to a Dallas apartment and the man sleeping inside woke up and shot him. Dejean-Jones, a guard for the New Orleans Pelicans, broke into a unit in the Camden Belmont Apartments, just east of U.S. 75 and Fitzhugh Avenue, about 3:20 a.m.
The commotion startled the man sleeping inside, who police say grabbed his handgun and “called out,” but got no answer. Police say Dejean-Jones then kicked the door to the bedroom — and the man fired. Dejean-Jones, 23, ran out of the apartment and “collapsed in the breezeway,” police say. He was taken to a local hospital, where he died.
Shams Charania: Pelicans’ Bryce Dejean-Jones suffered gun shot to abdomen late Friday, bled to death. Full story coming on passing of promising 23-year-old.
Kurt Helin: I sadly can confirm the report that Pelican guard Bryce Dejean-Jones has died, as confirmed by the Coroner’s office in Dallas County (Texas)
Shabazz Muhammad: I just lost my best friend/cousin last night enjoy life because you never know if tomorrow is guaranteed love you soldier ! #RIPBDJ
Norman Powell: Rip bro @B2nyce life is crazy smh
Isaiah Canaan: R.I.P. Bryce Dejean-Jones prayers out to the Family
Zach LaVine: Damn.. That’s crazy RIP.
Allen Crabbe: Damn B!! RIP man
Larry Nance Jr: RIP BDJ
Travis Hines: Former Iowa State player and current New Orleans Pelican Bryce Dejean-Jones has died, the Dallas County coroner’s office confirms.
The coroner’s office was not immediately able to provide the cause of death. Dejean-Jones played his senior season at ISU after previous stints at USC and UNLV.
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Jeff McDonald: Per @Basketball-Reference, this is the 21st time Tony Parker has come off the bench (regular and postseason combined). Last would have been the 2010 playoffs vs. Dallas, when he was coming off injury
Ryan Ward: Jeff Hornacek: “[Julius] Randle & [Jordan] Clarkson, they were killing us. We tried multiple guys on both of them but they took it to whoever was guarding them. That was a big key, we couldn’t get any stops.” #Lakers #Knicks
Ryan Ward: Jeff Hornacek on the #Lakers: “You don’t see many of these games, they are the No. 1 paced team in the league, they are really flying. They have some young athletic kids that really get up & down the court.” #Knicks
Ryan Ward: Julius Randle on guarding Kristaps Porzingis: “It’s tough. Earlier in his career he was a lean guy, so earlier in his career you could really press up on him, he didn’t really know how to adjust to contact. Now he knows how to play off contact & draw fouls.” #Lakers #Knicks