Jerome Keith James (born November 17 1975 in Tampa, Florida) is a professional basketball player in the NBA. James played at Florida A&M University, and was selected by the Sacramento Kings in the second round of the 1998 NBA Draft. Over the course of a 6 year career, he has played for the Kings, Seattle SuperSonics and New York Knicks. He has also played for the Harlem Globetrotters.
James has averaged 4.8 points and 3.4 rebounds per game in 290 career games (168 games started). Despite his huge stature and athletic ability, James has, for the most part, remained a career backup, mostly due to the alarming rate at which he is charged with personal fouls. During his tenure with Seattle, he was criticized by the media for his laziness and generally uninspired play, and found it hard to coexist with his teammates, especially star guard Ray Allen. However, James played respectably during the 2004-05 NBA playoffs, averaging 12.5 points and 6.8 rebounds in 11 games against the Kings and San Antonio Spurs. After the season, he signed a 5-year $30 million free-agent contract with the Knicks, a move which many believe was done solely on the basis of his playoff perfomance in the past season without taking his entire career into consideration. James has been a disappointment to the Knicks, arriving at training camp out of shape and averaging only 2.9 points and 2.0 rebounds in 22 games, missing much of the 2005-06 season due to injury. In addition to being injured, James was suspended on January 2 for not being prepared to practice.
James is one of the most foul-prone players in the NBA. In 290 career games, he has been called for 859 personal fouls. Averaging 14.7 minutes of playing time per game (4,275 total minutes), James is called for 3.0 fouls per game, or 9.6 fouls per 48 minutes played.
James claims that after being released by the Kings, he was given a garbage bag to clean out his locker. Following the Sonics' playoff series win against Sacramento in the 2004-05 season, he paraded around the court with a trash bag tied to his neck.
Once, when asked if he was concerned about his former coach Nate McMillan commenting that he has a selfish attitude, replied, "I don't even know what he's talking about, I just worry about Jerome."
Once fell asleep during a Sonics team meeting.
Once dunked on an 11'4" (3.45 m) basket while touring with the Globetrotters.
James had no prior experience played organized basketball before college, and majored in pre-law at Florida A&M.
Is nicknamed Big Snacks.