Fred Jones Gives Update on Latest Business
The 2004 NBA Slam Dunk Champion Fred Jones has traded away his shorts and sneakers for a tailor made suit and briefcase.
Jones, a one-time Portland Trail Blazer that had his best years as a member of the Indiana Pacers, has assembled a topnotch tech team to launch a private social media site he calls Player Population (playerpopulation.com).
The site is exclusively for current and former NBA players created with the sole purpose of keeping players in contact with one another. The site also allows players to showcase their businesses, promote charity events, basketball camps and tons more.
“I got the idea traveling around the country and running into players,” Jones told CSNNW.com. “A lot of times we would see one another and say, 'Hey, I didn't know you were in town. I got this charity event going and I would have liked for you to attend it if I knew you were in town.' Player Population will keep guys connected.”
Players get traded, it's part of the business, the former Oregon Duck noted, as he was dealt twice during his seven-year NBA career. Therefore, Player Population has a feature that allows players to post their homes that are on the market.
So when a player is notified of their next destination, they can log in and search for homes/condos to purchase or rent from players who are selling/renting in that particular city.
“We're just trying to make the transition easier for them,” he said.
Jones, 34, says 65 players have signed up thus far, with hopes of getting the entire league involved. He's also hopeful that he'll get the NBA Player's Association on board, having met with Vice President and Secretary-Treasurer of the Player's Association Jerry Stackhouse and James Jones.
Stackhouse and James Jones were impressed with Jones' website and presentation and are backing it with plans to present it to President Derek Fisher. Jones is confident that Player Population will eliminate misinterpretation of vital and key information that come out of player meetings.
“We feel like we have a platform for them to get their information out to their players in a private setting where everybody will receive the same message rather than a team rep relaying the message to their teammates,” Jones explained. “Most of the time, the same message isn't being conveyed. Our site is secure so whatever happened at the [player's] meetings, we'll have it in detail on the site.”
Under the Player Population umbrella, Jones and his team have also created a team management app called “The Locker Room,” which is for NBA teams. It consists of everything a team would need for the everyday operations of a grueling NBA season such as team itineraries, video scouting reports, team and staff directories, daily team schedules, etc.
Teams that wish to sign a contract for the app will have their players automatically enrolled into the Player Population network. This is the route Jones would prefer to go down, admitting it's been difficult to track down every current and former NBA player to educate them on Player Population.
Jones has had meetings with 15 teams regarding the app and website, and has a meeting scheduled with the Trail Blazers this week. The last couple of years, he has been present at Summer League, All-Star Weekend and at the Chicago Pre-Draft Combine pitching his site and app to team representatives.
The 1998 Oregon High School Player of the Year from Sam Barlow High is getting positive reviews.
“I've gotten great feedback, now we just need them to sign the contract,” he said laughing. “Everybody likes what we're doing with the team management app and the website. Everybody keeps talking about going green, the NBA has green week, but we still use a lot of paper. So we're trying to cut that down a little bit and have a little green concept for them to get their information. I believe these are useful tools the league and players can utilize.”