Popeye's Biggest Score

LAKE PLACID, NY - AUGUST 10: Seth Jones #7 of Team USA skates against Team Sweden at the Lake Placid Olympic Center on August 10, 2011 in Lake Placid, New York. Team Sweden defeated Team USA 4-1. (Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images)

Popeye Jones has had some luck developing NBA big men. While assisting Avery Johnson, first in Dallas and now in New Jersey, Jones had a hand in pushing DeSagana Diop, Brandon Bass and Kris Humphries to levels they hadn't reached before he got to them.

His biggest development job (and likely the most successful) came not on the court but at home.

In a profile, ESPN the Magazine calls Seth Jones, Popeye's 17-year-old son, "perhaps the best prospect in North America", a "franchise cornerstone", and in some scouts' minds, the "top pick" in next year's NHL Draft. And to think his father wanted him to play basketball!

How'd he get there? Jones took the advice of Avalanche great Joe Sakic, who he met while playing for the Nuggets. He knew all three of his sons had gone puck-mad and wanted advice. "You need to get them some skating lessons" Sakic told him. Technique took precedence over hockey skills. Now, writer Lindsay Berra reports, Seth has a choice between college and the Canadian juniors.

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