As I've reached out to former Wolves to see if they will do a short Q&A for this series, some have been quite gracious. Those who don't respond leave themselves open to having an embarrassing anagram of their name in a post's title. Such is the case for today's profilee.
Our mystery man is a 6'5, 200 lb. guard who played four years at Kansas State before signing as a free agent with the Timberwolves back in 1994. His career as a Wolf (and as an NBA player) consisted of 11 games. Minnesota's record in those 11 games? 1-10.
Let's look a little more closely:
11/4 - 16:00 against Denver, scoring a career high 8 points of 4-7 shooting. 2 rebounds, 2 steals and no assists.
11/5 - 5:00 against Houston, he got a rebound and missed three shots.
11/8 - 11:00 against Detroit. Hey, I just noticed that his "minutes played" for every game end in :00, which is either the greatest coincidence of all time or just due to the limits of box scores 20 years ago. 4 points, his first assist, and his first two turnovers.
11/9 - 9 against the Lakers, took and made his first four three throws in the NBA. Scored 6 points.
11/11 - 10 against Chicago. Four points on 4 shots.
11/12 - 15 against Boston, getting a little more burn on the court, 7 points and 2 assists. Yawn.
11/15 - WOLVES WIN! WOLVES WIN! For the only time in his NBA career, our man walks off the court a victor. In 4 minutes against Golden State, what is his box score contribution? A personal foul.
11/16 - 17 against Phoenix, a career high 4 assists along with 3 points.
11/19 - 19 against San Antonio, best game of his career: ties his highs in points (8) and assists (4) while setting a best for steals (3). GameScore of 10.3 (whatever that is).
11/22 - 23 against Cleveland, a career high in minutes as the coach gains confidence in our guy - the last three games his time has steadily increased from 17 to 19 to 23!
11/23 - Then again, maybe not. He only plays 10 minutes against Atlanta, misses all 4 shots he takes, grabs one board and before he knows it he's out of the NBA forever.
Have you figured out that our man is Askia Jones, son of NBA player Wali Jones (who played for a dozen years in the 1960's)? If so, bravo. If not, you probably have a lot of company. This was not an easy one.
Askia is best known for scoring 62 points in an NIT game, the second-highest total in NCAA postseason history.
He played internationally for many years after his Wolves stint. Now? According to his twitter profile, Jones is a "BRAND CONSULTANT/ CHANGE AGENT/ CREATIVE DIRECTOR/ ENTREPRENEUR"
I tried to find a photo of Wali and Askia Jones together, but came up empty handed. I did, however, somehow come across a great picture of two of the greatest sports legends of all time. Let me leave you with it: