Caldwell Jones

Nickname: "CJ"
Ht. 6-11
Wt. 217
College - Albany State
ABA Teams: San Diego (1973-74 to 1975-76), Kentucky (1975-76), St. Louis (1975-76)

Business administration major at Albany State, where 5 of his 6 basketball-playing brothers also went to school; Drafted by Philadelphia 76ers of NBA, but recruited to the ABA San Diego Q's by newly-named Coach Wilt Chamberlain in the summer of 1973; Joined his brother Wil (Floridians, Pros, Tams, Colonels) as an ABA stalwart; Known for his tremendous defense and shot-blocking ability; Led ABA in blocks during his rookie season, 1973-74; Suffered 4 broken noses and a cracked wrist during that season, but only missed 5 games; Helped Coach Wilt and the 1973-74 Q's to an unlikely 4th place playoff spot and a competitive first-round playoff series with the powerful Utah Stars; Named to ABA All-Star team during his second season, 1974-75; Played in 7th Annual ABA All-Star Game in San Antonio in January 1975 - anchored the middle for the West ABA All-Stars along with Utah's Moses Malone and Denver's Mike Green; Led the ABA in blocked shots again for 1974-75 season with 246 in 76 games; Missed nine games during that season, but still averaged 19.5 points and 14.1 rebounds per game; Started out with the ill-fated San Diego Sails in 1975-76 season; After Sails folded on November 12, 1975, his contract was purchased by the Kentucky Colonels - where he played for one month alongside his brother Wil; Traded by Kentucky to the Spirits of St. Louis in December 1975 in exchange for Maurice Lucas; Played remainder of final ABA year with the Spirits; Went on to long and productive NBA career after merger, playing 14 NBA seasons with the Philadelphia 76ers, the Houston Rockets, the Chicago Bulls, the Portland Trailblazers, and the San Antonio Spurs; Became the second-to-last ABA veteran to retire following his 1989-90 season with the San Antonio Spurs.

Career ABA Totals 231 8607 1536 3231 .475 5 26 .192 575 751 .766 3022 453 909 205 780 3652 13.1 2.0 15.8
ABA Playoff Totals 6 277 36 88 .410 0 0 .000 11 16 .690 94 15 19 6 14 83 15.7 2.5 13.8
ABA All-Star Totals 1 15 2 4 .500 0 0 .000 1 1 1.000 4 0 4 0 1 5 4.0 0.0 5.0

In September 1974, San Diego Conquistadors players stood in a row until summoned, one by one, to dribble down the lane to their doom, to where Coach Wilt Chamberlain was waiting. With little apparent effort, Chamberlain rejected their pitifully human layups, fly-swatting them to various distant parts of the USD gym. Contempt was etched into Wilt's face. Wilt was letting them know who was boss. And then came Caldwell Jones. Find out what happened in Joe Hamelin's article "C.J. -- Man in the Middle."

MEMORIES OF JOE HAMELIN: "I covered the ABA Q's and Sails for the San Diego Union newspaper in the mid-1970's. I remember, about four or five years after the merger, writing a piece noting that 40 percent of the ABA players at the time of the merger were still in the league, more than double the percentage of NBA players. I believe Caldwell Jones was one of the last ABA vets to quit. In the late 1980s, when I was a columnist in Sacramento and Caldwell was a Portland Trail Blazer, he noticed me at the press table while he was warming up. He cocked his head as if remembering -- it had been over a decade -- and walked over to me and stuck out his hand. I'll admit I was touched."

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