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Perry Jones III may frustrate you, but you should be rooting for him

Mar 1, 2012, 3:30 PM EDT

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Sometimes it is too easy to fall into the trap of being a fan.

We forget that the athletes we are watching from the stands or on our TV aren’t simply a source of entertainment for us, that they aren’t cyborgs immune to the criticism and the name-calling and all the rest of the vitriol spewed from the comfort of the anonymity that the internet provides.

I’m not innocent, either.

I’ve made plenty of negative comments directed towards athletes and TV personalities. Baylor sophomore Perry Jones III has been on the receiving end of a number of them. And while my opinion of the player they call PJ3 hasn’t changed at all this season, after reading Jason King’s story on his history, the way I view him as a person has:

That’s what frustrates Jones’ inner circle. Everyone thinks they know PJ3, as he’s called by his friends, but the perceptions are far from true. The people who believe he was getting money from Baylor during high school might feel differently if they knew Jones was homeless — bouncing from one $95-a-week hotel room to another — throughout much of his final prep season.

Those who wonder why he picked the Bears over a national power such as North Carolina or Kansas might understand if they knew that Jones’ 40-year-old mother, Terri, was battling a severe heart condition — she may need a transplant — 90 minutes away near Dallas.

Seriously. Read it.

I still think Jones has a ways to go before he is an impact player in the NBA. He needs to get stronger, he needs to be physically tougher and he needs to be more aggressive attacking the rim.

But I can tell you that he will have at least one blogger pulling for him to make it.

Rob Dauster is the editor of the college basketball website Ballin’ is a Habit. You can find him on twitter @robdauster.