He ran the floor like a gazelle, leaped over would-be defenders like a high jumper, and mastered the chase-down block. But Bobby Jones never really planned to make basketball his calling in life, and in some ways, maybe the game chose him rather than the other way around. He was tall, lanky, and when he jumped, he flew as far as he did high, making adjustments in the air as he risked his body to intercept a pass or send back an open layup. His emphasis on defense made him a valuable commodity, the type of player that turned good teams into great teams. At the University of North Carolina, Jones played three seasons for legendary coach Dean Smith and when he was only a sophomore, he won a silver medal at the 1972 Olympics. The Tar Heels reached the NCAA Final Four the same year. After graduation, Jones landed in Denver with the ABA’s Denver Nuggets, where he proved that defense was more than a passing fancy. He earned a spot on the ABA’s all-defense each of his two seasons in the renegade league before being traded to the Philadelphia 76ers. In Philadelphia, Jones solidified his status as the game’s best defensive forward locking up eight straight NBA All-Defense First Team honors. Jones helped the Sixers capture the 1983 NBA championship when he was named Sixth Man of the Year.
BornDecember 18, 1951 Akron, OH
Professional CareerDenver Nuggets Philadelphia 76ers
First Team 1977-84