Saturday, December 8, 2007

jamario moon

One of this year's top rookies was not in drafted in the first or second round of last June's draft. Hell, he didn't even play college ball � unless you count community college. Instead, this 27-year-old rookie had to grind to make it to the League. Nearly six years of playing everywhere from Dodge City, Kansas to Monterrey, Mexico, he is now the starting small forward for the Toronto Raptors. Rags to riches?

Yep, meet Jamario Moon.

At 6-8 and 200 pounds, Moon's long slender frame and versatile skill set can be compared to a poor man's Tayshaun Prince or Scottie Pippen. He can play three positions, and he does it on both ends of the floor. In a game last week against the Bulls, Moon used his long arms to block six shots and get three steals to go along with his 15 points and nine rebounds. He has shown the ability to dish the rock and has impressive athleticism. Moon has already thrown down some nasty jams so far in his month-long career.

For the season, this rookie is averaging a very respectable 9.1 points, 7.4 boards, 1.31 steals and 1.62 blocks. His stellar play and stats have left fans, opposing teams and fantasy basketball enthusiasts asking the same question: Where the hell did this kid come from?

Coming out of high school in Alabama in '00, Moon signed to Mississippi State, but poor grades led him to Meridian Community College in Mississippi instead. After one season there, he dropped his name in the draft where he was ignored by all 29 teams. From there, Moon embarked on a basketball odyssey that took him to the CBA, NBDL, ABA, Italy, Mexico and even a brief stint with the Harlem Globetrotters.

It was last season where Moon's game really developed as a member of the CBA's Albany Patroons. Under former NBA All Star and current Patroon head coach Michael Ray Richardson, Moon developed a knack for playing D. After scouts took notice, Moon was invited to the Raptors' summer league squad, where he performed well. His solid play continued into the preseason where GM and known talent finder Bryan Collangelo took notice and signed the unknown Moon to a contract.

While he has been the Cinderella of the league so far, many (haters) question whether he can keep up at this pace. My opinion? I think Moon has staying power in this league because of the road he had to take.

There is something to be said about people who make it the hard way. Look at guys like Ben Wallace, Raja Bell, David Wesley and Darrell Armstrong. All got in the NBA through the back door and all have made an impact and had staying power. Jamario is no different. Sure, he doesn't have the same potential as Kevin Durant or Greg Oden who are both 19, but Moon has the hunger to stay in the league. When you come from leagues where you ride Greyhounds and play for hundreds a week, make you appreciate when you finally get the contract.

Plus he has one of those games where he can fill up a stat sheet by just staying within the flow of the offense. Cutting, put-backs and running the floor is where he has been doing the most damage - and guys like that are valuable for any team in this league. So don't expect Moon to fade away anytime soon. Watch for him to keep taking advantage of this opportunity he's got in Toronto, because he out of everyone should know that opportunities don't come very often.

Jamario Moon thought he was in for a compliment. As well as he has been playing in his rookie year, who could blame him? Sam Mitchell, though, had other ideas.

Mitchell was asked in his post-practice media scrum whether he had spoken to Moon about his reluctance to drive to the hoop.

His response was comical.

"One second, let me ask him," Mitchell said before yelling to Moon, who was shooting free throws. "Jamario. Did we talk about you driving to the basket.?"

Moon replied with a "Yup."

"Did you get it?," Mitchell said.

"I got it," Moon answered.

Mitchell was upset that Moon, with all his speed, energy and hops, had not made one drive to the basket in the past two games.

"I asked him in front of the whole team," Mitchell said. "I said, 'Jamario, did you know you have set a new NBA record?' He started smiling. I said 'It's not blocked shots, it's not rebounds. It's playing eighty minutes in two consecutive games and not attempting one free throw. That's got to be a record.'

"That's when his smile turned into a frown. I then told him I had one more record for him. He does that again and it's going to be a record how quickly I have him sitting beside me (on the bench)."

Turns out Mitchell was cutting Moon a little slack. He actually hasn't gotten to the line in three games.


Don't expect to hear Mitchell praising the lesser-known Boston Celtics any time soon no matter what numbers the likes of Rajon Rondo, Eddie House, James Posey or any other Celtics outside of the big three put up.

"You are playing with three guys who are getting all the attention so you are going to get a lot more open looks," Mitchell said.

Jamario Moon
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Jamario Moon
Position Small forward
Nickname Moonshine, Apollo 33
League NBA
Height 6 ft 8.5 in (2.04 m)
Weight 205 lb (93 kg)
Team Toronto Raptors
Nationality USA
Born June 13, 1980 (1980-06-13) (age 27)
Goodwater, Alabama
High school Coosa Central,
Rockford, Alabama
College Meridian Community College (2001)
Draft Undrafted, 2001
Pro career 2001�present
Former teams Mobile Revelers (2001)
Dodge City Legend
Mobile Revelers (2002)
Huntsville Flight (2003)
Oklahoma Storm (2004)
Harlem Globetrotters (2004)
Rockford Lightning (2004)
Kentucky Colonels
Rome Gladiators (2005)
Albany Patroons (2005�2006)
Fort Worth Flyers (2006)
Marietta Storm (2006)
Fuerza Regia (2006)
Albany Patroons (2006)
Gary Steelheads (2007)
Fuerza Regia (2007)
Arkansas RimRockers
Jamario Raman Moon (born June 13, 1980, in Goodwater, Alabama) is an American professional basketball player for the NBA's Toronto Raptors. He has played for the CBA's Albany Patroons,[1] Fuerza Regia in the LNBP, and most recently the USBL Gary Steelheads.[2][3][4] He attended Meridian Community College where he averaged 20.8 points per game and 8.7 rebounds. Moon entered the 2001 NBA Draft but he was not drafted by any team.[5] He is known for his extraordinary ability to jump.

Moon signed a two-year deal with the Toronto Raptors on July 10, 2007 after he had impressed in a three-day mini-camp held by the club.[5][6] In his first start against the Chicago Bulls, he had 12 points, six rebounds, three steals, and one block in 23 minutes.[7] Over the next few games, he kept his place in the starting lineup, and recorded 15 points, nine rebounds, six blocks and three steals in another game against the Bulls on 25 November 2007.[8]


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