Dahntay Lavall Jones was born on December 27, 1980 in Trenton, New Jersey. He is a 6'6" shooting guard. Jones starred in Steinert High School in Hamilton, New Jersey from 1995-1998. He averaged 24 points and 9 rebounds as a senior and was named as a McDonald's All-America honorable mention. He originally went to Rutgers University but then transferred to Duke University to play with his friend from New Jersey, Jay Williams who encouraged him to join him in Durham, North Carolina.
In his freshman year at Rutgers, Jones averaged 10.7 points and 4.1 rebounds per game. He was named to the Big East All Rookie Team. His sophomore season, also at Rutgers, he averaged 16.0 points and 4.6 rebounds. He transferred to Duke and sat out the 2000-'01 season as a transfer student. In his junior season, he averaged 11.2 points and 4.2 rebounds. His senior season he averaged 17.7 points and 5.5 rebounds. He was voted to the All ACC first team in 2003 and to the All ACC Defensive team in 2002 and 2003. He won a Gold Medal at the World Championship for young young men with the US team in 2001.
At Duke, Jones was involved in several on court incidents that got him into trouble. In a game against Clemson, his trash talk caused an incident:
Duke junior forward Dahntay Jones' fastbreak dunk to all but seal a win against at Clemson on Saturday evening should have been a highlight. Instead, it became a lowlight. The Tigers called timeout after the play and Jones, as he trotted to his bench, said something to his opponents Clemson coach Larry Shyatt didn't appreciate. Irate, he stormed toward midcourt to confront Jones.
Then, there is this:
Without Jones, Duke would have felt its way along this season. With him, the team gained swagger. Sometimes, too much of it. Krzyzewski blasted Jones for a flashy behind-the-back pass on a fast break against Florida State. After a spectacular dunk against Virginia, Jones fell to the floor and did pushups in front of a TV camera. Wake Forest freshman guard Justin Gray broke his jaw hitting a Jones' screen. Jones swiped North Carolina freshman point guard Raymond Felton across the face on a rebound, leaving him on face-down on the floor in anguish and setting up a chest-bumping altercation between Carolina coach Matt Doherty and Duke assistant Chris Collins.
He was selected by the Boston Celtics in the first round (20th overall) of the 2003 NBA Draft, and his rights were traded, along with the rights to Troy Bell, to the Grizzlies for the rights to Kendrick Perkins and Marcus Banks. In his 4 seasons with the Grizzlies, he averaged 5.1 points, 1.6 rebounds, and .6 assists. His best season was in 2006-07 when he averaged 7.5 points, 2.0 rebounds, and .9 assists in 21.4 minutes per game over 78 games.
Like in college, Jones has been involved in a couple of incidents in the NBA. One involved Shawn Marion of the Suns:
As Shawn Marion attempted a layup, Memphis' Dahntay Jones pushed him to the ground. An angry Marion landed hard and had to be restrained from going after Jones by teammate Steven Hunter. Jones, who was called for a flagrant foul, later apologized to Marion, but the Suns were still steaming about the hit after the game. 'It was a dirty foul,' Hunter said. 'He (Marion) was hot, but I wasn't going to let him do anything stupid.' Suns coach Mike D'Antoni, hearing fans heckling him, turned around and shouted, 'That's not right. That's not basketball.' No one was angrier than Quentin Richardson, who said he wanted to '(expletive deleted) Jones up.' 'If it had been in the regular season, he would have been in the first row with me on top of him,' Richardson said. 'But we had better things to do than get into it.'
HoopsHype has this to say about Jones:
Awesome athlete... can get to the basket... great offensive rebounder... good perimeter defender... will block some shots... jump shot still needs work.
Dahntay's father, Larry, played basketball at St. Peter’s College. His parents, Larry and Joanne, both work for Johnson and Johnson, his father as a Director and his mother in Network Securities. One of his cousins is fellow NBA player Al Harrington.
Off the court, Dahntay is very involved in the community and is a good guy. He launched the Dahntay Jones Foundation in 2005 to help at-risk youth, and in June 2006 he donated $16,000 to Greenwood Elementary School in Hamilton, New Jersey, to cover the costs of upgrading their Success For All reading program. He frequently participates in basketball camps for kids. He has participated in the Grizzlies Tickets for Kids program with Dahntay’s Department of Defense. He played in Kenny Smith’s Hurricane Katrina Relief game in the summer of 2005, and along with Damon Stoudamire and Eddie Jones, provided toys for hurricane victims during the holiday season. During the summer of 2006, he played in the Midsummer Night’s Dream Celebrity game, as well as the Chicagoland All-Star Classic.
Danny has been keeping an eye on Jones over the years since he was drafted and signed him to a non-guaranteed contract for training camp. The Celtics have 17 players on their roster, which means that 2 will have to be cut. The final spot will probably come down to either Jones or Wallace, depending on who plays better in the pre-season. He definitely has a chance to make this team since he has experience on his side.