The Milwaukee Bucks have signed guard Mike James to a contract, General Manager Larry Harris announced today. Per club policy, terms of the contract were not disclosed.
James comes to the Bucks after spending the 2003-04 season with the World Champion Detroit Pistons and the Boston Celtics. The 6-2 guard was traded from Boston to Detroit in a three-team deal on February 19, 2004, that also included the Atlanta Hawks.
“Mike is a terrific team player and a person of great character,” said Harris. “He has progressed over the past few years while playing a number of different roles as a point guard. Last year with Boston, he scored over 10 points per game as a starter. When he moved to Detroit, he fit in nicely as a solid reserve and was a key contributor during the team’s run to the Championship.”
James, 29, played a combined 81 games with Boston and Detroit last season, starting in all 55 contests he played with the Celtics. He set career-highs in a number of categories, including points (9.3), assists (4.2), rebounds (2.9) and minutes (27.1). During the Pistons championship run, James came off of the bench in all 22 of the team’s playoff games, averaging 2.6 points in 8.9 minutes per game.
“Along with his NBA championship experience, Mike brings an added defensive presence to our backcourt,” said Head Coach Terry Porter. “As a point guard, he’s our first line of attack on the defensive end and we saw first-hand the intensity and toughness he brings to the court. He knows the hard work and effort it takes to win and we’re looking forward to him being a part of our team. ”
The 2004-05 season will mark James’ fourth in the NBA ranks. Prior to joining Boston, he played two seasons with the Miami Heat, appearing in 78 games with the club during the 2002-03 season and 15 the year before. Prior to making his NBA debut with Miami in 2000, he played in 14 games with the Rockford Lightning of the CBA where he ranked second in the league in scoring (23.3 ppg).
Undrafted out of Duquesne University (PA), James spent the first three years of his professional basketball career overseas, playing in Austria from 1998-99 and in France from 1999-2001.