Is Chris Jones Really “Louisville First”?

Photo: Tim Haag/CardinalSportsZone.com
Photo: Tim Haag/CardinalSportsZone.com

Perhaps I should wait until more information comes out. That is probably what a journalist or a professional would do. But since I am nothing more than a fan, I can let these things out whenever.

I am well aware that this could be a huge overreaction post. I know that going into it. After all, we don’t really know the reason (yet) that Chris Jones has been suspended. So if that reason ever does come out and it isn’t a big deal, this could all be for nothing. However, I am not just writing this to pile on Jones since he got suspended. These won’t really be new thoughts from me. He has always walked a fine line to me on a number of things. So this definitely is not a situation where I thought “Oh Chris Jones got suspended. He must now be a bad guy and I am going to write about it.” Not true. These thoughts have always been there in the back of my mind. But now just seems like the appropriate time to let them out. Speaking of that, there are a couple tweets that show that this probably isn’t just no big deal, and it could last more than a game.

Since the beginning of last year, the player most criticized for the Cards has been Jones. I have always been the type that if they put on that Louisville jersey, I support them and I won’t bash our own guys. If it were just criticisms from on the court, it would be different. But it’s not. If you have seen how Jones reacts to fans on Instagram, you would understand that he makes it nearly impossible to defend him. After this season’s UK game, he had many rants and reactions to fans that were just embarrassing to read. This includes cussing at fans and threatening to fight. Since then, I have stopped defending him when people bash his play on the court. If that is how he talks to fans, whether they criticize him or not, I won’t support it.

I don’t know Chris Jones personally. He may be a good guy. But you just don’t seem to get that feeling, at least I don’t. Not saying he is a criminal or a thug (most overused word in sports to describe someone), but also not a saint. He doesn’t have to be a perfect gentleman, but with the attitude that he has, he probably couldn’t have come to Louisville at a worse time. Think about it. We just had a stretch of a few years where we cheered for guys like Peyton Siva, Russ Smith, Gorgui Dieng, Luke Hancock, and then Teddy Bridgewater and Lorenzo Mauldin on the football side of things. To say we have been spoiled with great character guys lately would be an understatement. Again, he doesn’t have to be like them. He isn’t them, he is his own person. But it isn’t that difficult to be a decent person and not always act like it’s you against the world and have an attitude about everything when it doesn’t go your way.

Photo: GoCards.com
Photo: GoCards.com

When the “L1C4” slogan first came out, it was made fun of a lot. I still don’t love it, but I understand its meaning. Louisville 1st, Cards Forvever. I get it. You put the team first, you take pride in it, you make sacrifices for the good of the group. And when it’s over, you come back and support the University. It remains apart of you forever. All of the guys I mentioned above: Siva, Russ, Gorgui, Luke, Teddy, Lorenzo…I believe they all get the L1C4 mentality. Every one of those guys seemed to buy into the fact that they were playing for the University of Louisville first and playing for themselves second. That is why they were so easy and fun to cheer for. Chris Jones? It could very well be Chris 1st, Chris Forever.

When ACC play started this season, Jones was incredible and a different player. He was looking to pass first before getting his own shot. When games got close, that went out the window and he took over. And that’s fine. There were definitely games that we would have lost if it were not for Jones taking the game over himself. But you had to think that it just wasn’t his game to be a true point guard. He is a scorer. His social media handles all say “I am unguardable.” You probably want your point guard’s handles to say something like “Assists are awesome” or something like that.

I really don’t think Chris can handle not being “the guy.” All of the talk about who will play in the NBA from this team centers around Terry Rozier and Montrezl Harrell. I think Jones takes offense to that. Rather than just living in the moment and making this the best Louisville team he can, that bothers him and he takes it personally and has to show that he can be a professional basketball player. All of that is purely speculation. I obviously don’t know how he feels.

Jones never really won the fans over 100%. He followed Peyton Siva, and not to mention wore his #3. Siva is one of the all-time fan favorites. That makes it hard enough. Then he played alongside Russ Smith in the backcourt, another fan-favorite. It seemed to be a competition on who could take the most shots. While the fans wanted Russ to get the majority, and for good reason, it always felt like Chris was trying to show that he could be the scorer that Russ was. It wasn’t needed. Just be the point guard. Then this season has been filled with the flop, Instagram responses, and just overall bad attitude that we haven’t seen from the point guard spot in quite some time.

If this is a typical Pitino suspension, and Jones is back in a game or two, I fully expect him to lead us to a Final Four since I have posted this now. And if he does, feel free to remind me of this. Trust me, I won’t waiver from it. 90% of this is about off the court stuff and overall attitude, so that likely won’t change. And if all of that does happen, I will be happy because I am a Louisville fan. But that certainly does not mean that every player that comes through the program will be a Peyton, Russ, Gorgui, Luke, or even a Teddy or Lorenzo. Those guys are unique, and they are what being Louisville Cardinals is all about.

But if this is the end for him at Louisville, then we move into a new era, and that is with Quentin Snider at the point guard position. It would be a refreshing change and one that would be easy for the fans to get behind since he seems to be a good kid and from right here in Louisville. We will see how this all plays out. Could be nothing, could be a lot. Whatever happens, I just want what is best for the Louisville Cardinals. That is what matters.

As always, in closing, Go Cards! Go Krogering!

JR

3 Replies to “Is Chris Jones Really “Louisville First”?”

    1. As I said, regardless of what happened, none of that would have changed for me. I didn’t speculate on what he did this time, so having more information wouldn’t have done much. I did find out what happened, and the post stays.

      1. Mannnnnnnn look I have watch Chris Jones pout rant and rave all season and when he got the tech I said he must don’t believe Rick would send him home and it has come to pass. This guy did not respect the coaches his teammates fans referees nor his self so it is what it is and I’m glad to see him go. I hope he have continued success in whatever else he decides to do but for me I glad to see him go……

Leave a Reply to Justin Renck Cancel reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.