1. At 29, John Lucas III has been around the block. He entered the NBA un-drafted in 2005, he’s bounced around from team to team and after being waived by all, spent some time playing overseas. The two years he’s spent on and off with the Chicago Bulls has been his longest stint. Last season, he only appeared in 2 games.
“My career has been a fight. Every year, it’s been ‘Keep a job, keep a job, keep a job.’ It humbles you and makes you appreciate the game even more. When you finally get the opportunity, you run with it.”
2. Played for Bellaire High School with current New Orleans center Emeka Okafor and former Memphis Grizzlies power forward, Lawrence Roberts. His senior year he averaged 30.3 points and 11 assists per game. Lucas, Roberts and Okafor waited until the last minute to sign their college letter of intents:
“It might have hurt me a little to wait so long to sign, but Lawrence, Emeka and I were holding out hope that if we waited, that meant the college coaches would keep coming to our games, and that meant that one of our other teammates might get noticed and recruited, that’s what we wanted.”
3. Played collegiately with Lawrence Roberts at Baylor University. He stayed for two years and was there for the 2003 shocking series of events that involved the murder of Patrick Dennehy by fellow Baylor teammate Carlton Dotson.
“I still think about it to this day. Because when you go off to college, you look at your teammates as brothers, you like at it as a family. And for another teammate to kill another teammate…it’s just crazy to me…I lost a great friend and a great teammate.”
4. Lucas left Baylor and transferred to Oklahoma State in 2003 and made the game winning 3 point shot to send his team to the 2004 Final Four. One of his teammates was Memphis Grizzlies guard Tony Allen. Allen and Lucas were named Big 12 co-Player of the Year in 2004.
5. Played for his current head coach, Tom Thibodeau, in 2005-2006 and 2006-2007 when he was an assistant coach for Houston Rockets.
“It was a special night for me because it my first time starting in an NBA game, but also it was my first time really getting to show what I can bring forth to this team”
7. John Lucas III’s father, John Lucas II, was the number 1 pick in the 1976 draft. He played in the NBA for fourteen season on 6 different teams, most notably the Houston Rockets. He later coached in the NBA, and was a head coach for San Antonio (1992-94), Philadelphia (1994-96) and Cleveland (2001-03).
8. Standing at only 5’11, John Lucas III credits his “no fear” approach in every game to his father and growing up in the business being around Michael Jordan, Larry Bird and Magic Johnson. He says his “big brothers” are Allen Iverson and Damon Stoudamire:
These guys helped me throughout my career. In high school and college. They called me on the phone and said do this and do that. Do this more: delete this off. (
via Bleacher Report)
9. His father and Tom Thibodeau have a close relationship – When Lucas II was the head coach of the San Antonio Spurs, Thibodeau was his assistant coach (1992-1994). John Lucas III says he’s known Thibs most of his life:
“Thibs knows me better than anybody else. I’ve been around him almost my whole life. He used to work me out when I was with the (Houston) Rockets, and he always gave me takes on the players he thought I resembled like Damon Stoudamire, Dans Barros and Allen Iverson. Players like that, scoring PG’s. That’s all I watched growing up. He always gave me DVD’s and had me working on something different everyday.”
(via Bleacher Report)
10. Has a younger brother, Jai who also plays basketball. He was a McDonalds All American and played for the Florida Gators before transferring to the University of Texas (wanted more minutes at point guard). He currently plays for SK Valmiera, a Latvia Euroleague team. Also has a sister, Tarvia.
11. Scored 60 points in the Pro City tournament this past summer (2011) in New York. On the opposing team was Kevin Durant who had scored 66 points the night before. Durant was impressed with Lucas’ play: “The way he played was unbelievable. He had a hell of a game.” John Lucas shot 22-41 and 6-19 from three. (via ESPN)
12. Has a tattoo of an original quote on his back that reads: “You can’t stop my success this is my destiny, but I will leave you my footprints behind, so you can follow what was left of me.”
13. Has a clear-cut approach to life: “You gotta stay humble, when you’re not humble everything is taken away from you”. Lives by the motto that that was passed on from Joakim Noah:
“Humble yourself, or the game will humble you.”
Lucas incorporates his own interpretation to Noah’s quote:
“It’s not the game of basketball, it’s the game of life.”
14. Lucas and his father run the John Lucas Foundation, a charity which helps athletes who need after care or wellness services and programs. JL3 has a collection of wristbands that support his charity, they read: “Don’t listen to outside voices, listen to your inner spirit”.
15. Has scored more points, 245, this season in 37 games played than his previous three years in the league consisting of 62 games for 186 points.