Mike James Now A Piston

Feb. 23, 2004

Mike James, Duquesne's number 11 career scorer, has a new abode. On Thursday, February 19, 2004, James was part of a seven-player, three-team trade that sent the 1998 DU graduate from the Boston Celtics to the Detroit Pistons. At Boston, James had been the starting point guard for interim head coach John Carroll, the ex-Duquesne coach who recruited James to the Bluff.

James started all 55 games for the 2003-04 Celtics averaging 10.7 points, 3.2 rebounds, 4.4 assists and 1.27 steals in 30.6 minutes per contest. In three years in the NBA, James has averaged 8.4 points, 2.3 rebounds and 3.4 assists. James will now be coming off the bench for the Pistons behind team captain Chauncey Billups.

The other player picked up by the Pistons was power forward Rasheed Wallace, who played one game for the Atlanta Hawks after spending most of his career with the Portland Trailblazers. Detroit gave up four players and two draft picks to get Wallace and James.

Both players were cleared for the Pistons' game with the Minnesota Timberwolves on Friday, Feb. 20 and saw action in the first half only to be told during halftime they were unable to compete in the second half. The NBA called the Pistons during the game to inform them all the paperwork (involving two of the other players in the trade) for the deal had not been completed. The paperwork did come through the following day and James was in the lineup for the Pistons' next contest on Sunday against the Orlando Magic. He tallied seven points and handed out three assists in 13 minutes of action.

During his career with the Dukes, James averaged 12.7 points, 3.1 assists, 3.0 rebounds and 28.1 minutes in 111 games (84 starts). He finished his career on Duquesne's all-time lists: third in steals (201), eighth in assists (348) and 10th in points (1,411). (James is now 11th; Wayne Smith ('02) finished as the fourth-highest scorer.)

Mike will be reunited with fellow 1998 graduate, Korie Hlede, who will be starting her second season as an assistant coach with the Detroit franchise's WNBA team, the Detroit Shock. Hlede was the Shocks' first round, and fourth overall, pick in the 1998 WNBA draft.

Comments from the media:

  • Israel Gutierrez of the Miami Herald wrote that the addition of James to the Detroit's bench, "... (gives) the Pistons ... one of the best eight-man rotations in the league."

  • Tim Weisburg of the New Bedford Standard wrote. "The removal of James is certainly a blow to whatever (Celtics) team chemistry existed as early as Thursday morning. After all, he's a likable guy, a hard worker and an example to younger players who sometimes feel a sense of entitlement. If it counts for anything, he was also the only current Celtic to visit New Bedford, appearing as part of the caravan at the Boys and Girls club prior to this season."

  • Piston's general manager Joe Dumars told Ira Winderman of the South Florida Sun-Sentinel, "We really think he's going to be able to help us."




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