If you were a fan of the Los Angeles Lakers back in the ’90s, Eddie Jones was perhaps one of your favorite guards from that area. With his length, explosiveness, and all in all great athleticism Jones was an unbelievable two-way player that quickly gained popularity around the league. He made his first All-Star appearance in his third NBA season, and during that time was the second scoring option behind Shaquille O’Neal, and took on the role as the best perimeter defender on the team that was aiming for a championship.
His effort on defense is something that was recognized immediately after he came from Temple University and Jerry West was the man who wanted to have him on his team. He later developed his game on offense and was one of the better three-pointer shooters in the league.
He stressed to me. Hey, we got Shaquille O'Neal. You got to hit a lot of those open jump shots. Get in the gym and shoot 300-400 a day. I listened to them and did just that.
However, his defense always stood out, and he even led the league in steals one season while being one of the best at picking pockets several seasons in a row. In an older interview, even Michael Jordan praised Jones for his ability to give him more problems on defense than most guards in the NBA.
He is a very savvy defensive player, so you have to pay attention to him, and you have to be very cautious with the ball and make sure you don't put it out there where he can come and steal the ball. I have to rank him as one of the good defenders in the league.
On top of that, he was willing to mentor the young Kobe Bryant, who had the opportunity to compete against Jones every day in practice, which definitely helped him grow as a player. Unfortunately, there was no room for both of them, even though the Lakers could have made it work.
Unfortunately, Jones missed an opportunity to win the championship with the Lakers and later on with the Miami Heat. Both of these teams won it immediately after he left the team. Jones played for five teams in total and is remembered as a true professional and a great player who brought many people on their feet with all the spectacular plays.