Mike James (basketball, born 1990)

American basketball player

Encyclopedia from Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Mike James
Mike James 2019 (cropped).jpg
James in 2019
No. 5 – CSKA Moscow
PositionPoint guard
LeagueVTB United League
Personal information
Born (1990-08-18) August 18, 1990 (age 30)
Portland, Oregon
Listed height6 ft 1 in (1.85 m)
Listed weight201 lb (91 kg)
Career information
High schoolGrant (Portland, Oregon)
NBA draft2012 / Undrafted
Playing career2012–present
Career history
2013Hapoel Galil Elyon
2014Kolossos Rhodes
2017Phoenix Suns
2018New Orleans Pelicans
2018–2019Olimpia Milano
2019–presentCSKA Moscow
Career highlights and awards

Michael Perry James (born August 18, 1990) is an American professional basketball player for CSKA Moscow of the VTB United League and the EuroLeague. He was a high school basketball standout playing for Grant High School in Portland, and played college basketball for Eastern Arizona College and Lamar University. He's also best known for being the first player in NBA history to go from a two-way contract to a regular contract, all while never being sent down to the NBA G League in the process.

Early life

James, the son of Lisa Behrndt, was born and raised in Portland, Oregon. While in Portland, he played basketball for Grant High School under coach Tony Broadous.[1] In 2007–08, as a senior, he was ranked the No. 3 Player in the state and No. 184 overall.[2] He was also only recruited by Division III universities at the time.[3] James averaged 15 points, 4 rebounds and 3 steals per game.[1] The team went on to win the 2008 Oregon state championship, defeating Oregon City for it.[1]

College career

Eastern Arizona College

James started his college career at Eastern Arizona College, a national junior college where he played under coach Maurice Leitzke. In his first year, he averaged 20 points per game shooting 42 percent overall, 33.3 percent from three-point range and 78 percent free throws. He was named all-conference and all-region teams as well as being ranked No. 40 best junior college player by Rivals.com.[1] As a sophomore, he was the fourth leading scorer in the NJCAA Division I recording 26 points per game. In addition he contributed 5 rebounds, 4 assists and 2 steals.[1]

Lamar University

In 2010, James transferred to an NCAA Division I school, Lamar University in Beaumont, Texas. Here he played under coach Steve Roccaforte in 2010–11 and under coach Pat Knight for the 2011–12 NCAA season. Playing a little over 18 minutes a game, he averaged 12.5 points, 2.4 rebounds, 1.8 assists and 1.1 steals.[4] He led the team in scoring, even though he only started two out of twenty-four games for the season.[1] He included a 52-point game on January 4, 2011 against Louisiana College, which Lamar Cardinals won 114–62,[5] breaking the previous record of 50 set by Mike Oliver in 1980.[6] In addition, he broke Lamar University's Montagne Center record for most points scored in a single game with 52, field goals made with 18, field goal attempts with 35, three-pointers made with 11 and three-pointer attempts with 21.[1][6] In his senior season (2011–12), he averaged 17.1 points, 3.2 rebounds, 2 assists and 1.6 steals per game shooting 45.3 percent overall.[4] One notable game of his was against the 2012 NCAA champion University of Kentucky, where he scored 29 points. His senior season ended in the first round of the 2012 NCAA Tournament with a loss against Vermont.[4] By the end of his season, he was named All-Southland First Team, Southland Tournament MVP and Southland Conference Player of the Week three times in four weeks. He had majored in general studies during his time there.

Professional career

International career

In August 2012, James signed with Zagreb of Croatia for the 2012–13 season.[7] In December 2012, he left Zagreb. In February 2013, he signed with Hapoel Galil Elyon of Israeli second tier league for the rest of the season.

In July 2013, James signed with Paffoni Omegna of Italy under their DNA Silver Basket league name for the 2013–14 season.[8] That season, they finished in fourth place for the DNA Silver portion of the league.

In August 2014, James signed a one-year contract with Kolossos Rodou of Greece.[9] On December 2, 2014, he left Kolossos and signed with the Spanish club Laboral Kutxa Baskonia of the Liga ACB for the rest of the season.[10]

In July 2015, James joined the Phoenix Suns for the 2015 NBA Summer League.[11] That same month, after a successful Summer League performance, he re-signed with Baskonia for one more season.[12] During that season, Saski Baskonia would reach the EuroLeague Final Four, losing to the Fenerbahçe Ülker and the PBC Lokomotiv Kuban for a fourth-place performance.

On July 3, 2016, James signed with Panathinaikos Athens in Greece for the 2016–17 season.[13] That year saw him perform his best work in the EuroLeague yet. He helped the Panathinaikos win both the Greek Cup title and the Greek Basket League championship in the 2016–17 season. He was later named the Greek Basket League's Most Spectacular Player that year as well.

Phoenix Suns (2017)

On July 3, 2017, James signed with the Phoenix Suns and joined the team for the 2017 NBA Summer League.[14] In the 2017 Summer League, he led the team in points and assists, averaging 20.5 points off of 53.8% shooting and 5.0 assists per game, as well as record 5.2 rebounds and 1.8 steals in 33.2 minutes per game for the six games the Suns played during the event. James' contract with the team was a two-way affiliate deal, their first in franchise history. He also became the first player to sign a two-way contract in the NBA after spending multiple years overseas in international leagues. While James was eligible to split his time between Phoenix and their Northern Arizona Suns G League affiliate, he would never utilize the G League's abilities during his two-way contract. James made his NBA debut on October 18, 2017 against the Portland Trail Blazers, recording 12 points that night.[15] James became the first player to sign a two-way contract to also start with the team that signed him on, as he became the starting point guard on the October 23 game against the Sacramento Kings under interim head coach Jay Triano. That night, James recorded 18 points and a team-high 7 assists in a 117–115 win over the Sacramento Kings.[16] During his first four games of the season, James recorded at least 10 or more points with increased minute production in each game.[17] On Halloween night, James recorded his first 20-point game with 24 points scored and four steals recorded in a 122–114 win over the Brooklyn Nets.[18] On November 26, 2017, he scored a career-high 26 points in a 119–108 loss to the Minnesota Timberwolves.[19] James would play his last game under his original two-way contract on December 5 against the Toronto Raptors, recording 10 points in a 126–113 loss that night. During this time, James would be considered the biggest success story to date revolving around the NBA's newest implemented system.[20]

On December 7, 2017, James contract with the Suns was converted to a one-year regular season deal, after Phoenix waived Derrick Jones Jr.[21] However, on December 23, 2017, over two weeks after signing his one-year deal, James was waived by the Suns.[22]

New Orleans Pelicans (2018)

On January 14, 2018, the New Orleans Pelicans signed James to a new two-way contract.[23] Much like his tenure with Phoenix, James was never assigned to the NBA G League during his two-way contract with New Orleans. On February 10, 2018, he was waived by the Pelicans after appearing in four games.[24]

Return to Panathinaikos

On February 13, 2018, Panathinaikos announced the return of Mike James to Athens, Greece. He started the season playing Shooting Guard for the Greens. On March 22, James scored the game winning shot with 5.8 seconds left against Maccabi Tel Aviv. He finished the game with 27 points.[25]

Olimpia Milano (2018–2019)

On July 13, 2018, Olimpia Milano signed James to a multi-year contract.[26] Over 30 games of the 2018–19 EuroLeague season, he averaged league-high 19.8 points, along with 6.8 assists and 3.8 rebounds per game. He won the Alphonso Ford Trophy, given to the top scorer of the EuroLeague.[27]

But despite the statistically excellent season, the incoming Olimpia Milano coach, Ettore Messina, declared Mike James wouldn't be part of the 2019–20 team plans.[28] James and the Italian team eventually reached an agreement and mutually parted ways on July 29, 2019.

CSKA Moscow (2019–present)

On August 5, 2019, he has signed one-year contract with CSKA Moscow of the VTB United League and the EuroLeague.[29] On June 1, 2020 Mike James officially signs new three-year deal with CSKA Moscow of the VTB United League and the EuroLeague.[30]

Career statistics

  GP Games played   GS  Games started  MPG  Minutes per game
 FG%  Field-goal percentage  3P%  3-point field-goal percentage  FT%  Free-throw percentage
 RPG  Rebounds per game  APG  Assists per game  SPG  Steals per game
 BPG  Blocks per game  PPG  Points per game  PIR  Performance Index Rating
 Bold  Career high

Note: The EuroLeague is not the only competition in which the player participated for the team during the season. He also played in domestic competition, and regional competition if applicable.

* Led the league


2014–15 Baskonia 16 6 19.2 .404 .222 .844 2.4 1.9 1.1 .0 11.1 8.0
2015–16 29 0 21.2 .424 .368 .864 2.6 2.7 .6 .1 10.0 10.1
2016–17 Panathinaikos 25 1 22.7 .486 .340 .688 2.2 3.0 .9 .1 13.1 13.1
2017–18 12 11 25.3 .478 .242 .707 2.8 4.1 1.3 .1 16.2 15.7
2018–19 Milano 30 30 33.9 .404 .326 .826 3.8 6.4 1.3 .0 19.8 20.2
2019–20 CSKA Moscow 28 25 28.6 .440 .420 .833 3.3 4.3 .7 .6 21.1 20.9
Career 140 73 25.5 .435 .342 .808 2.9 3.9 .9 .1 14.1 15.4


Regular season
2017–18 Phoenix 32 10 20.9 .388 .268 .762 2.8 3.8 .8 .2 10.4
2017–18 New Orleans 4 0 4.5 .222 .000 .000 .3 1.5 .3 .0 1.0
Career 36 10 19.1 .383 .265 .762 2.5 3.5 .8 .2 9.3


  1. ^ a b c d e f g "Mike James Bio". LamarCardinals.com. Retrieved December 28, 2013.
  2. ^ "Michael James' High School Timeline". maxpreps.com. Archived from the original on April 29, 2012. Retrieved December 28, 2013.
  3. ^ Vecenie, Sam (2017-08-11). "After decade full of constant change, Mike James finally finds seat at NBA table". Sporting News. Retrieved 2018-02-17.
  4. ^ a b c "Mike James Stats, Bio". ESPN.com. Retrieved December 28, 2013.
  5. ^ "Former Grant High standout Mike James scores 52 points for Lamar University". OregonLive.com. January 5, 2011. Retrieved December 28, 2013.
  6. ^ a b "Mike James scores 52 points to set Lamar record". Lamar Cardinals.com. January 4, 2011. Retrieved December 28, 2013.
  7. ^ "Croatia - KK Zagreb inks Mike James". mlbb.d11.gr. August 24, 2012. Retrieved 2018-02-17.
  8. ^ Carchia, Emiliano (July 18, 2013). "Paffoni Fulgor Omegna, ufficiale la firma di Mike James". Sportando (in Italian). Retrieved 2018-02-17.
  9. ^ "Mike James signs with Kolossos Rodi". Sportando.com. August 21, 2014. Retrieved December 18, 2014.
  10. ^ "Laboral Kutxa picks up scorer James". Eurolague.net. December 2, 2014. Retrieved December 18, 2014.
  11. ^ "Suns Announce 2015 Summer League Roster". NBA.com. July 7, 2015. Retrieved July 22, 2015.
  12. ^ "Baskonia re-signs Mike James". Sportando.com. July 6, 2015. Retrieved July 22, 2015.
  13. ^ Τζέιμς ο δεύτερος (in Greek). Panathinaikos B.C. July 3, 2016. Retrieved July 3, 2016.
  14. ^ "Suns Sign Mike James". NBA.com. July 3, 2017. Retrieved July 3, 2017.
  15. ^ Bordow, Scott (October 18, 2017). "Phoenix Suns suffer worst loss in franchise history in season-opening loss to Portland Trail Blazers". azcentral. Retrieved 2018-02-17.
  16. ^ Olson, Kellan (2017-10-23). "Suns' Mike James thrives in first career start in place of Eric Bledsoe". Arizona Sports. Retrieved 2018-02-17.
  17. ^ King, Dave (October 24, 2017). "The NBA just had their "welcome to Mike James" moment". Bright Side Of The Sun. Retrieved 2018-02-17.
  18. ^ Torres, Adry (November 1, 2017). "Booker scores 32, Suns rally late to beat Nets 122-114". AP News. Retrieved 2018-02-17.
  19. ^ Cunningham, Cody (November 26, 2017). "Mike James Scores Career-High Against Timberwolves". Phoenix Suns. Retrieved 2018-02-17.
  20. ^ Feldman, Dan (December 4, 2017). "Suns' Mike James a two-way trailblazer". Yahoo! Sports. Retrieved 2018-02-17.
  21. ^ "Suns Sign Mike James to Standard NBA Contract". nba.com. December 7, 2017. Retrieved December 7, 2017.
  22. ^ "Phoenix Suns Waive Mike James". NBA.com. December 23, 2017. Retrieved December 23, 2017.
  23. ^ "Pelicans sign Mike James to a two-way contract". NBA.com. January 14, 2018. Retrieved January 15, 2018.
  24. ^ "New Orleans Pelicans waive Mike James, Rashad Vaughn". New Orleans Pelicans. February 10, 2018. Retrieved 2018-02-17.
  25. ^ "Welcome back, Mike". paobc.gr. February 13, 2018. Retrieved February 13, 2018.
  26. ^ "AX Milan adds playmaker James". EuroLeague.net. July 13, 2018. Retrieved July 13, 2018.
  27. ^ "Alphonso Ford Top Scorer: Mike James, Milan". euroleague.net. 6 May 2019. Retrieved 26 May 2019.
  28. ^ "Ettore Messina statement regarding Mike James' situation". olimpiamilano.net. July 26, 2019. Retrieved July 26, 2019.
  29. ^ "CSKA Moscow announces Mike James". Sportando. August 12, 2019. Retrieved August 12, 2019.
  30. ^ https://www.eurohoops.net/en/euroleague/1065977/mike-james-officially-signs-new-three-year-deal-with-cska/. Missing or empty |title= (help)

External links

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