Popeye Jones only appeared in 18 games in a Celtic uniform in the 1998-99 season and his career was one of slight mediocrity, so it shouldn’t be a huge surprise that his son didn’t decide to follow in his footsteps and become an NBA player.
No, no, Seth Jones decided to go a different route, pursuing a life on the ice as a hockey player. At the time Jones entered his sixth NBA season in 2000, his son Seth, then five years of age at the time, went to live with his mother in Colorado. Jones’ inability to stick with a team made it unsuitable for Seth to constantly be on the move with his father.
Jones’ inability to find a suitable place to play ended up working out in Seth’s favor. In 2000, the Colorado Avalanche’s popularity was peaking and Seth decided to lace up his skates and give hockey a try.
It definitely worked out in his favor, as the 17 year old is expected to be a top three pick in next year’s NFL Draft. Seth isn’t quite as big as his 6’8″ father, standing 6’4″ and 205, so it’s not as likey he could have succeeded on the hardwood anyway, as Popeye wasn’t a particularly gifted athlete and was blessed mainly with a great work ethic and size. The former of those two things appears to be a trait of Seth as well.
Popeye preached the importance of defense in all team sports, and Seth took diligent notes, though Joe Sakic, coach of the Avalanche at the time said that all Seth would need to know to do is learn how to skate, that his size would give him immense physical gifts other hockey players simply didn’t have. Simply put: Seth would be a bone crusher.
“I know that he’s at a young age, but he’s also really mature,” Popeye said. “I think one of the main lessons that I’ve taught him is to keep your head down, keep working hard, don’t get caught up in all the press clippings and all of that and I think he’s done a terrific job of doing that. He’s humble and very hard working.”
NHL fans will keep an eye on for Jones, knowing that his career in hockey will likely far surpass his father’s basketball career, as Popeye averaged just 7.0 points per game and 7.4 rebounds per game over his ten year NBA career. It wasn’t horrible, but it was hardly the kind of career that can compare to a guy that is about to be a top three pick in a draft. By comparison, Popeye was taken in the second round (41st overall) and was lucky to carve out a niche as a role player.
From the looks of things, Seth will be anything but a role player.