Dallas Mavericks 2012: Bernard James Mentors OJ Mayo in Pre-Camp Training
There could be an impending culture clash in Big D, but this summer the Mavericks have proved adept at turning poultry poo into chicken salad.
The talented but sometimes enigmatic O. J. Mayo is on his way to Dallas as possibly the best addition of the offseason for the Mavericks, but he brings a little baggage. The potential is still there for Mayo, who, after a stellar rookie season where he challenged Derrick Rose for 2009 NBA Rookie of the Year honors, slid to less-than-stellar bench numbers in Memphis.
In the meantime, before, during and hopefully not after, he has had a variety of off-court issues. Nothing that would land him in the pokey, but certainly more drama than any team cares to have.
Enter Staff Sergeant Bernard James. The Mavericks' second-round draft pick is a 27-year-old rookie who is also a veteran—a veteran of three tours of duty in the Middle East as a member of the United States Air Force.
Considered an excellent pick for a second-rounder, James set numerous records at Florida State despite playing there only two years. Once he entered the NBA, he tore it up in the Summer League, displaying better than expected scoring, along with the beast-like defensive prowess he's known for.
Crashing the boards and swatting away shots by opponents no doubt helped James seal his contract with the Mavericks, signed just a short time ago. But our crack research team has it on good authority that the Mavs have other plans for James as well.
The mark of a good organization is the ability to use individual players to the best of their abilities and make the most of what you have. What do you do when you have a disciplined Air Force sergeant and a talented, but sometimes distracted, young player on the team? We have an idea...
Click here to see James' first workout with Mayo.
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