Mavs Bernard James: Season In Review
Bernard “Sarge” James was initially slated to begin the season with the D-League Texas Legends in Frisco. He's already pocketed his guaranteed salary after being released by the Dallas Mavericks and viewed DFW as "home.'' But then he received a big-money call to go overseas. And then, after spending the first half of the NBA season playing for the Shanghai Sharks of the CBA, the Mavericks signed Sarge to a 10-day contract. Due to a Tyson Chandler injury, James was brought in to help patch up the Mavericks frontcourt, which struggled mightily in the absence of their defensive anchor. The 10-day contracts stuck. But the impact on the court was rarely felt.
While filling in for TY, James started 11 games, with the fan favororite's best performance coming in a 104-87 loss to the Atlanta Hawks on February 25th. James scored seven points, grabbed 11 boards, and blocked 2 shots. However, after averaging just 2.8 points and 2.4 rebounds per game, James struggled to find a significant role on the team after Chandler's return.
In China, James dominated (as seen the highlight video below), averaging 19 points and 11 rebounds per game - numbers that of course were never going to be duplicated back here in the big leagues ...
As the 2015 offseason kicks into gear, James is a restricted free agent. Sarge is not prioritized on the Mavs list of offseason moves this summer, however there is still a chance he could return to help fill out the roster after the rest of 2015 Mavericks squad begins to takes shape. His cap hols is $94,7276 and if signed from there he'd be at $1.18 million. There is no urgency for any of that.
However, his qualities as a teammate, as a person (he spend six years in service to his country with the Air Force) and a member of the Mavs "family'' keep a window open.
“He’s got more of a confident air about him,” coach Rick Carlisle said of James in February. “When you go halfway across the world and you become one of the best players and you’re relied upon for a certain level of statistical performance in winning and losing, that’s a situation where you mature. He wasn’t under those pressures here for a couple years. It’s pretty clear the experience he had in China was very positive for him.”
In the end, not much was expected of Sarge this year, either. Season Grade: C-minus.
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