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The Combustible Mookie Jones


Trying to figure out what’s going through someone else’s head isn’t easy – unless it’s on Twitter for the entire world to see.

Thank you Mookie Jones.

“Thinking that I need to move on”

“honestly I don’t, coach don’t give a s*** about me and evreybody no it”

“thank you for your support, I will think it thru, I love the cuse, but I juss don’t think I’m loved back on this team, so we will see”

“Pray for me, I’m about to meet with the boss man”

“Lol, f*** leaving the cuse, ima juss go hard, harder then I was going, harder then they go, at the end of the day, I’m juss trying to get payed mo”

Let’s look back to November after the headband tossing/bench leaving incident against Cornell. After that went down, Mookie had some pretty strong things to say:

“When I got out there, I was more mad. I’m like, ‘I belong out here. Let me show everybody. Let everybody feel my pain and anger out here.’ It was pressure.

I’m here. I’m working every day. I’m gonna be at practice early working on my game. Trying to work on everything Coach says I need to improve on. Whatever it is he told me to do, I’m gonna do it. That’s why I’m here. I’m here to play. I’m not here to sit on the bench. I just gotta prove myself.”

So where was the disconnect? Why all the talk about leaving the team again if he knew what his role was going to be back in November?

It feels like Paul Harris all over again. Need proof? Here’s what Harris said about Coach Boeheim last year in a Sports Illustrated article:

“It doesn’t do any good debating with him, because you can’t win. He gets me thinking too much about mistakes. But I’m going to keep going because that’s what you gotta do.”

Player feuds with Boeheim. Player gets angry. Boeheim finds a nice seat for player on bench. Player (theoretically) figures out what coach wants. Player shuts up and gets back on the court.

It worked well for Harris for the most part, and Mookie can learn from that situation.

It’s actually very simple – get better on defense and improve the three point shooting that helped him get onto the floor this past season.

Next year isn’t getting any easier. He’ll be competing against James Southerland, Dion Waiters, Kris Joseph and C.J. Fair for playing time.

Mookie was the go to guy on his high school team in Peekskill, N.Y. for four years. I know because I watched him play back then.

His high school coach Lou Panzanaro – who coached both Elton Brand and Hilton Armstrong – said great things about him back when he was a sophomore:

“He could be a major impact at the Division I level. Beyond that, it’s hard to project. He has a tremendous desire to improve and learn. I think he could be a first-round NBA draft pick even before his class graduates.”

But now things have changed and he’s being consistently challenged in order to prove himself at a higher level – something that it seems he learned from his meeting with Boeheim today.

Mookie, if there’s anything I learned in my childhood spent watching “Seinfeld” reruns at the dinner table, when what you’re doing isn’t working,try the exact opposite. This upcoming summer will be huge in the progression of Mookie Jones and his role on this team. How he responds to the challenge should greatly impact how much time he sees on the court next season.

He can look to his own words back in 2006 for motivation:

“I have to keep improving, always work to get better. Somewhere out there is somebody, he’ll look to come at me and try to embarrass me on the court. I’ve got to be ready.”

The Fizz is owned, edited and operated by Damon Amendolara. D.A. is an ’01 Syracuse graduate from the Newhouse School with a degree in Broadcast Journalism.

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