Three-year regular at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill (13.7 ppg and 8.9 rpg during his college career). Signed with Denver on June 15, 1974 despite being the first round pick of the Houston Rockets in the 1974 NBA Draft. Career ABA Field Goal Percentage of .592. ABA's field goal percentage leader in each of his two ABA seasons. Set ABA record by shooting 60.5% from the field during his rookie season. Named twice to ABA's All-Defensive Team. Member of ABA 1974-75 All-Rookie Team. Second-Team ABA All-Pro in 1975-76. Missed only one game in his ABA career, due to the flu. Defensive battles with Julius Erving were legendary. Scored 24 points and grabbed 10 rebounds in 1976 ABA All-Star Game. Named to the NBA First Team All-Defensive Team for 8 straight seasons (1976-77 to 1983-84).
Sound Clip -- April 28, 1976: Bobby Jones ponders the dilemma of guarding Julius "Dr. J" Erving in the last ABA Finals
In the 1976 ABA Playoff Semifinals, the Denver Nuggets beat the defending champion Kentucky Colonels in a controversial and rough 7-game series. After Denver's emotional Game 7 victory, Colonels broadcaster Van Vance discussed with Jones the upcoming championship series with the New York Nets. Jones anticipated the difficult task of guarding Dr. J ("he worries me to death, I'm thinking about him right now"), but even he could not have imagined the legendary performance that Erving would pull off against the Nuggets. Even though guarded almost exclusively by Jones, one the all-time best defensive forwards in ABA and NBA history, Erving (above vs. Jones) averaged an astonishing 37.6 points and 14.2 rebounds per game over the 6-game series, and carried the Nets to the last ABA title.
At that time, little did Jones and Erving realize that they would eventually become future teammates on the Philadelphia 76ers and win an NBA title together following the 1982-83 season.
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The Bobby Jones/Dr. J. photo above left is copyright © Larry Berman and used with permission. Interested in obtaining an 8x10 print of this or other ABA photos? Visit Larry at bermansports.com and choose from a large selection.