|Birthplace:||Heacham, United Kingdom|
James Donaldson (born August 16, 1957 in Heacham, England) was obtained by the Mavericks in a trade with the Los Angeles Clippers for center Kurt Nimphius.
Donaldson, who had never played basketball until his senior year at Sacramento's Luther Burbank High School, attended Washington State University. Although he rarely left the bench his first two seasons, his junior year proved to be a breakout year.
He led the team to a 16-11 record while averaging 12.6 points per game and 11.3 rebounds per game. For his efforts that year, Donaldson was selected second team All-Pac 8.
The team improved to 18-9 his senior year while he again averaged a double-double with 11.3 ppg and 10.8 rpg. Donaldson finished his college career as the school's all-time leading shot blocker with 176 rejections, a record that still stands today. He also holds the WSU record for blocked shots in a single game with 8 against Gonzaga in 1978.
The Seattle SuperSonics drafted the 7'2 center in the fourth round of the 1979 NBA draft. After playing one season in Italy with Montanini Siena, Donaldson joined Seattle in 1980 where he played for three seasons.
Donaldson moved to San Diego in 1983-1984 where he finished the year second in the NBA in field goal percentage. He moved with the Clippers to Los Angeles in 1984-85 and led the league in field goal percentage that season.
In 1985, Donaldson began the year with the Clippers but came to Dallas in a trade and went on to have his finest ye ars while playing for the Mavericks, providing rebounding and shot-blocking to complement Dallas' star-studded line-up, which included Mark Aguirre, Rolando Blackman, Roy Tarpley, Derek Harper, and Brad Davis. Donaldson earned a spot on the 1988 All-Star Team (recording two points and six rebounds in eight minutes of action) during a season in which the Mavericks reached the Western Conference Finals before losing to the Los Angeles Lakers.
He was a stable force in the paint for Dallas, who had not enjoyed steady, reliable play at center during their first five seasons. He had six straight seasons, beginning in Seattle, where he played in every game his teams played.
After brief stints with the New York Knicks and Utah Jazz in the early 1990s,he left the NBA in 1995 with 8,203 career points, 7,492 career rebounds, and 1,267 career blocks. Donaldson ended his professional career with parts of four seasons in Europe playing in Spain, Italy and Greece.
Today, Donaldson owns a string of fitness and physical therapy centers in the Seattle area where he is very involved in the community. He was awarded the "Jen McDonald Community Service Award" for his volunteer with in schools and throughout the community in 2005, calling it more meaningful than anything he could have won in athletics or accomplish in business.
He is making a run for a seat on the Seattle city council in 2009, telling seattlepi.com, "I want to continue to break the mold. A lot of times, athletes are cast in bad stereotypes. I want to step out of that mold and challenge people to be better."