James was just one of the former pro-basketball players who spent a few days in the city during the National Basketball Association All-star game held here this weekend. He is also a member of the National Basketball Retired Players Association, an organization made up by the greatest in the game and led by former New Orleans City Councilman and President, Arnie Fielkow.
I had an opportunity to talk with James during our live Facebook Live Interview on Friday at the DoubleTree Hotel.
James played for the New Orleans Jazz, many years before New Orleans snagged the Hornets (now the Pelicans) away from Charlotte--but long after Salt Lake City scooped up the team, making them, of all things, the Utah Jazz. James didn’t need to go far from home. He played college at Grambling State in Louisiana and then, was picked tenth in the draft by the Jazz. He also was drafted by the ABA.
When asked about his career, James said he played with Pistol Pete Maravich.
Yes, that Pistol Pete. The guy with the shaggy hair and floppy socks, or, was it the floppy hair and shaggy socks?
James said he enjoyed playing with Maravich, one of the most prolific shooters, passers and dribblers in basketball history. For one, James liked to score. He said, “if you could run and get open, Pete would throw you the ball”.
James played five years and scored double figures each year. He said, “a lot of that I attribute to Pete”.
The former Grambling State star said one of his favorite basketball moments was when he went ten for ten (field goals) and ten for twelve at the free-throw line.
Not bad for a New Orleans product who was one of those big names of the New Orleans Jazz, way back when…