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Oklahoma City Thunder: Perry Jones III still searching for his niche after two seasons

Thunder coach Scott Brooks called Perry Jones the team’s utility defender this season. With great size, length and foot speed, Jones has been labeled the best athlete on the team. But he’s had trouble turning his world-class athleticism into a singular skill.
by Darnell Mayberry Published: June 13, 2014


photo - Oklahoma City Thunder's Perry Jones talks to the media during exit interviews at the teams practice facility in Oklahoma City,  Monday June2, 2014. PHOTO BY STEVE GOOCH, The Oklahoman
Oklahoma City Thunder's Perry Jones talks to the media during exit interviews at the teams practice facility in Oklahoma City, Monday June2, 2014. PHOTO BY STEVE GOOCH, The Oklahoman

After two seasons, Perry Jones III is still searching.

Searching to find who he is as a player. Searching to find what he does best. Searching to find ways he can bring it with regularity.

“There’s a lot of things I can do on the basketball court, and there’s a lot of things I can do with the ball,” Jones confidently said. “I just got to go out there and find my niche on defense and offense.”

Jones made great strides this season.

He developed a respectable 3-point shot, and he turned himself into a decent defender.

“I’m not satisfied because of my expectations,” Jones said. “I think I got a lot better; just being more consistent, helping the team, especially on both ends of the court. But from here on, I can just get better. And hopefully, next year I can do even more.”

Though he sees himself as a versatile player, Jones mostly wants to improve his defense.

“Want to be able to guard anybody at any time,” he said.

Thunder coach Scott Brooks called Jones the team’s utility defender this season. With great size, length and foot speed, Jones has been labeled the best athlete on the team. But he’s had trouble turning his world-class athleticism into a singular skill.

“Not yet, but that’s something I’ve got to get comfortable with, something that I’ve got to get used to doing the whole time I’m on the court,” Jones said. “That’s a hard task to do. The only person that does that is Russell (Westbrook). Hopefully this summer I can have that mindset.”

Jones knows he needs to locate and return with it in his third season.

It could be all that’s holding him back.

“I have the ability to do things,” Jones said, “but if you have a little doubt or something like that, it’s going to be tougher to do.”

Jones had plenty to be proud of this year, personal victories that he can build on.

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by Darnell Mayberry
OKC Thunder Senior Reporter
Darnell Mayberry grew up in Langston, Okla. and is now in his third stint in the Sooner state. After a year and a half at Bishop McGuinness High, he finished his prep years in Falls Church, Va., before graduating from Norfolk State University in...
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