THE JONESTOWN HOOPS SUMMIT IS A LONG AND WINDING ROAD

(Part one of this tale is here. Go back and read it if you haven’t already. Seriously, do it now or you’ll be terribly confused.)

(Above: A young J. Nelson throws down)

Look, I’m just going to reveal something that you may find shocking…

… I’m somewhat of a lunatic.

In writing the “Jameer Nelson – Jonestown” bit, I was mostly going off on one of my crazy tangents that are typically just a product of my mind and, in some cases, too many stimulants in my system at one time.  So, naturally, when I see a picture of the Rev. Jim Jones alongside what appears to be a young Jameer Nelson, I naturally think, “Hey!  I’ll put together a little something that’s weird.”  Probably get a few laughs, a lot of “… the hell is this?” type reactions, and, if nothing else, allow me to write about something related to the NBA without having to write about the ACTUAL NBA scene (which currently is beyond dead).

This time, though, I walked into THE MONEY.

First and foremost, credit to the the fine folks over at “Court of Appeals” for reminding me that Jim Jones’s direct influence on the game of basketball was evident all along… in the form of his grandson, Rob Jones:

As you may or may not remember, Rob played college ball at the University of San Diego and later transferred to St. Mary’s.  As we often say here at SOSB: it’s in the DNA.  Obviously, this was the most high-profile example of Reverend Jim’s basketball lineage (well, it was… until I proverbially blew the roof off this whole deal).  Where do you think it all comes from?  Here, of course:

Like the South American “Rucker Park.”  Where the players played.  If you think about it, the guys who worked their game here were as dedicated as anybody, considering they had day jobs that lasted well past ten hours a day on a regular basis and survived on a minimalist diet in the middle of the god damned jungle.  Like the Reverend preached: repetition and preparation for whatever may come your way.  Work those free throws… that three-man weave… and, for the love of God, throw it down with some authority.

(“Damn it, Jameer – FIGHT THROUGH THAT SCREEN!!”)

The hard work on the court literally saved lives, as well.  Stephan, Jim Jr., and Tim Jones all missed out on the mass suicides because they were busy that day – leading the PEOPLE’S TEMPLE BASKETBALL TEAM against the Guyanese national team.  Exclusively, I learned that the “PT Revolutionaries” won that game, 108-69, behind 36 points from Tim and 18 assists from an unnamed point guard…

… until now, of course.

Who knows how deep this thing runs?  Who else did the Rev mold into a pro player?  Sleepy Floyd?  Vernon Maxwell?  Your guess is as good as mine.

One thing is for certain: you can place “the Jones family” alongside the Currys, the Barrys, the Van Arsdales, the Millers, and any other combo you can think of as one of the top genetically-linked groups in the history of roundball.  That’s clear now.

– For more scoops, including how the Pearl Harbor bombings amazingly led to the rise of the zone defense, Wes Lilliman can be reached at twitter.com/WesDestiny.

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