Over 14 NBA seasons, talented wing Eddie Jones played in three All-Star games, made three All-Defensive and one All-NBA team, and earned more than $100 million in salary. Regardless of various issues with the league's awards voting structure and copious bad contracts, these are not meaningless accomplishments. Jones was a talented, effective defender and secondary scorer, a model professional versatile enough to occupy several roles for his employers.
Nevertheless, Jones is not someone who will stand out in history — it's likely he'll go down as the player who the Los Angeles Lakers traded to the Charlotte Hornets in 1999 so that a young Kobe Bryant could take on a bigger role. Like many players through history, Jones will be remembered almost entirely by fans who came of age in his particular era. That's a shame, in a way, because Jones was valuable and deserves notice.
For those scoring at home, that's four Lakers jerseys, two with No. 25 (which he in his first two seasons with the team) and two with No. 6 (which he wore in his last two seasons, one of which was cut short by trade); four Charlotte Hornets jerseys for one partial and one full season (or 102 games); two seemingly identical Miami Heat jerseys for six seasons over two separate stints (the last of which lasted all of 35 games); and one Memphis Grizzlies jerseys covering one full and one partial season. That's every team Jones played for except the Dallas Mavericks, his squad for his final season in 2007-08. Maybe this guy really dislikes Mark Cuban, or something.
However, this collection is any many ways admirable, if also over the top. Clearly, this fan built a connection to Jones beyond his stats — one does not buy 11 jerseys without developing a largely irrational emotional bond to that player. It's a reminder that the logic of observable data does not always define our deepest allegiances.
In all seriousness, though, we really need an explanation for all the Hornets jerseys. It's more than a little discomfiting.