Bobby Jones Rumors
RAY: Your team had a run of great seasons but never won a championship. I think your last five seasons, the Bucks finished first in the conference. You had a great collection of players, including the ones who came in the trade for Kareem. Marques Johnson: Yeah, we had it going on. We started out green and kept growing. The only problem was that we either had to go through the Boston Celtics with Larry Bird, Kevin McHale, Robert Parish (and later Dennis Johnson) and that crew, or the Philadelphia 76ers and Dr. J., Bobby Jones, Maurice Cheeks and Andrew Toney, aka. the Boston Strangler. The year that we were really primed to make a championship run, the Sixers had picked up Moses Malone in the offseason.
Former Denver Nuggets forward Bobby Jones had been named a finalist for the Naismith Basketball Hall of Fame before, and four separate times his hopes had been thwarted. “When it doesn’t happen for a couple times, you think, ‘That’s OK, it’s not going to happen,’” Jones said in a recent phone conversation. “I understand that. There’s a lot of great players out there.” But this past spring, Jones, a defensive stopper throughout his 12-year career, finally got the call he wanted to get. It came while driving from his hometown Charlotte to Charleston, with his wife in the car. “My wife was in tears,” Jones said. “I immediately started thinking back on my career, my playing days, and it brought back some really good memories.”
The only negative to his time in Denver was how it ended. Jones, who had to negotiate both epilepsy and a heart condition during his career, was traded to the Sixers in 1978. “Leaving Denver was difficult just because when I went into the office, I got traded and I went to say goodbye to everybody, (and) everybody looked at me like I was a foreigner,” Jones said. “‘What are you doing here? You’re not on our team anymore.’… That was a bittersweet ending.”
His arrival in Philadelphia was equally as jarring. There to greet him was none other than big man Darryl Dawkins, aptly nicknamed “Chocolate Thunder.” “My very first practice in Philly, he set a pick on me at the top of the key and knocked me out, and when I came to, he was standing over me and he picked me up and said, ‘Welcome to Philly,’ ” Jones recalled. “The very next day he brought me a T-shirt that said ‘White Lightning’ on it just to say sorry for the hit.”