That wasn’t the only thing he brought from New York.
His brother, Gerard, whom he had beaten on the black top all those years before, came with him, moved into a place in Morgantown, working in New York some of the time, the rest of the time being in Morgantown with Jones.
Jones did not live with him, moving in with Bryant and forming a friendship for the ages.
“It’s been crazy, never a dull day living with Truck,” Jones said. “He’s been a great friend on and off the court. We have a connection that will extend way past college. We will definitely have a relationship past college.”
And what will he remember about Bryant?
“How funny Truck was, how charismatic he is, how he can go up and make a conversation with anybody and make it seem like they have been friends for years,” he said.
But his guidance, his leadership has come from Huggins and from brother Gerard.
“As a coach, he was more a father figure, more stern, telling guys what they have done wrong, but after practice or the game is over he goes right back to consoling you and being a friend. He never took stuff that happened on the court off the court with you,” Jones said.
He went to Huggins for advice, did the same with Gerard.
“He’s been around all my life,” Jones said. “He’s always been my coach on the side. He’s been a father figure to me. He has been there to support me when I needed him. If there was something I couldn’t go to Coach Huggins about, I’d go to him.”
The problem was, if he was looking to be consoled after a tough game, Gerard was no different from Huggins. He was always honest with him.
“That’s the kind of people you need in your corner, people who are going to keep you in line and help you grow as a man,” Jones said.
Email Bob Hertzel at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow on Twitter@bhertzel.