James Jones contemplating retirement after season

MIAMI — Heat swingman James Jones is a “calculated” person.

In his words, he never backtracks once he makes a decision. Jones will have a big one to make once the season ends. Winning an NBA title this season could potentially push him toward retirement. After nine seasons, Jones, 31, is at a point where he is thinking post-basketball.

“Most definitely,” Jones said of possibly retiring after this season. “I’ve been going for the last two years. I didn’t have a summer off coming off an injury. Then with the NBA lockout and the collective bargaining stuff, it’s been a 24-month grind for me.”

Jones, the secretary-treasurer of the NBA players’ union, spent a great deal of time last offseason negotiating during the lockout. He then jumped into a 66-game regular season crammed into four months, being called upon sparingly in a limited role. Through Thursday, he was averaging just 8.8 minutes during the playoffs.

He said it may be time to walk away. Jones, who played at the University of Miami, won the league’s 3-point Shootout during All-Star Weekend in 2011. That year, he also made a career-high 123 3-pointers.

His best overall season came when he averaged 9.3 points for the Phoenix Suns in 2005-06.

“Mentally and physically, it’s taken a toll on not just on me, but for my family,” Jones said. “At some point, you know the game comes to an end. You see the writing on the wall. You try to prolong it as long as possible. Like anything I’ve ever done, I want to walk away from my challenges rather than my challenges push me aside.”

Jones said he was thinking retirement before the season began. As a free agent, he had interest from five teams that were offering more money. He instead chose to return to the Heat for a lower salary by signing a three-year contract because the lure of winning a championship.

Now, he said he will wait to see how he feels in the offseason before deciding if he continues his playing career.

 “I know once it’s [the season] over and done with, I don’t know how the competitor in me will feel,” Jones said. “I don’t know what kind of emotions I’ll experience, but more importantly I don’t know which direction the team will go. You know championship teams try to get better. All I can control is me. This is a great place to play. They have a real opportunity to win championships. From a personnel standpoint, you just never know.”

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