Adam Jones joined the Dan Le Batard show on Tuesday night to share some personal information including how he's changed, why he dropped the name "Pacman" and some of the talks Jones has shared with Bengals head coach, Marvin Lewis.
"There are some cool stats that you will find on Pacman Jones," Le Batard said in announcing Jones to his show. "Last year he called a fair catch, it was the first time since 2006 that Pacman Jones had called a fair catch." You can listen to the interview (which is well-worth your time if you're a Bengals fan) here, and we've transcribed it for you below.
On why he called a fair catch last year:
Well I got ringed the play before that, twice, so I have to do what’s best for the team sometimes. I mean, do what’s best for the team and I can’t think about myself. So I don’t want to cause my team a game for me to get blown up and fumbling the ball. In that part of the game, it was necessary for me to call a fair catch because I had zero room.
It’s all about being smart, too. It’s a long season. I had just got hit two times before that and Coach Lewis came to me and said man, you’re going to get killed if you don’t call a fair catch. It was a business decision. Everybody knows I play this game with a chip on my shoulder.
On catching punts while he already has balls in his hands:
My record is seven [for punts caught while holding six other balls]. The most I’ve caught it seven. And I’ve dropped eight a couple of times, but I always catch five or six.
On dropping the name "Pacman":
When I got here, Coach Lewis, we had a long talk, with my past, things I need to change. And he thought it was best for me to change the Pacman. As far as in the locker room my teammates call me Pac, but everyone else, I prefer to call me Adam. Ya know, it’s a lot of good and bad behind the name. But my mom gave me the name. You can’t win sometimes, but media wise, I prefer to be called Adam, for the respect part. But on Sunday’s I’m Pacman Jones. I get to go out there and play without a seatbelt. And after the game I get an hour and then I go back to Adam when I go home and being a dad. It’s got its on and off switch.
On what he tells rookies:
Be smart, be accountable, and know when it gets dark in the alley, all the guys that are around you, 90% of them are going to turn away. Goodell is trying to protect the league, he’s not taking up no nonsense. And I tell people, nobody’s going to make the mistakes I made, because he’s not allowing it. Just be smart and wise and enjoy the process of playing football because at the end of the day it can be taken away from you any day. That was the big part for me, when something you love gets taken away from you, it really stings in a deep spot in your heart. When I went to the commissioner and I had to sit in there with him, I even asked to play a whole year for free. The main thing in my part was not getting to play football. I just try to tell the kids, you’re your own corporation. You have to be accountable for yourself and try to lead by example. Because at the end of the day, it all depends on what you’re doing. You’re the CEO of everything. If you’re riding in the car with your buddy and have weed, that’s your fault.
On spending $1 million in one weekend:
I was 20 years old when I got $18.9 million and at that time I thought I had to take care of everybody. So the vacations, going to Miami, Amsterdam, the Philippines. Just stuff you dream of as a kid, that you never get to do but once you look back on it you think dang, I should’ve done that in moderation. Or plan this or plan that. Or why did I take all these people? Why did I need all these people? It’s a live and you learn experience. I tell you, the day that I got suspended, there were only two people there for me – my mom and my now wife.
On what he bought that weekend:
I bought a Ferrari and a Bentley.
On what you would go back and say to that Adam Jones:
I would ask him what the hell are you doing, Jones? My main thing now is you have to respect the money. I had no respect for the money I got when I first got it. When you live and learn, you get responsibilities, kids, I lost my step father a couple of months ago, it’s just me and my mom and you realize that you’re the head of the table, you’ve got responsibilities. There’s no way I can tell my kids that I’ve worked so hard, this is why I’m doing this, for my kids. I look back and think, damn, I could’ve used that million dollars right now.
On his 2007 arrest during the NBA All Star Weekend
It was a crazy weekend that weekend, but you live and you learn and things help you grow. It was a big learning experience for me. And it’s all about the company you keep around. You live and you learn. It changed my life, I’ll tell you that.
On what changed him:
When I got here [to Cincinnati] Marvin brought me in the office and told me, hey look man, you only have one chance and then the incident when I got into it with the young lady who hit me in the face with a bottle, that was the incident that really changed the focus point. They say, you do everything right, don’t let something slip out. That was the big changing point. I have two beautiful young girls and I would never want them to think oh, daddy’s just going around here being an animal… They can read, they can go to YouTube and Google and all that. And there’s a point in your life, when you don’t want that for your kids. I just try my best to treat people the way I want to be treated.
On how he’s changed:
I kind of enjoy the process of thinking first and letting it slow down in my mind before I’m just reacting. When I was younger, my tempo was probably a 20/20. You live and learn and can’t get hot about everything. The patience came with my kids. When you have young kids running around, screaming and yelling. We have a no yelling rule in our house. I’ve probably yelled at my kids one time, if I raise my voice they’re like oh god daddy is really, really mad. But, my changing point was my kids and I just refuse to let them down. Regardless of what anybody say, I’ve done everything. I’ve tried to give my family everything they’ve wanted. And now, today it’s all about my kids. Regardless of what anybody says, they can’t say I’m a bad father. I think I’m the best father there is. I just try to lead by example with my kids and give them the world and spend as much time with them as I can. I used to be out every night of the week and now you can catch me out maybe once or twice a month. If you check my Instagram, I’m always with them.
It takes time, it doesn’t happen over night. At this point in my life, I’m not into proving it to nobody, I’m just into being the best I can be. The best Adam Jones I can be for me, my family, my kids. The best teammate I can be. I can’t change everybody’s thoughts about me, that’s not going to happen, but what I can do, for the people who met me, when they go back, they can say, I’ve seen Adam now and he’s not like how he used to be. But, I’m content with myself. I used to have to have 100 people around me. I love being by myself now. But you go through things, you grow, you learn and I’ve enjoyed the experience of all the ups and downs. Yesterday, I went back and looked at some pictures where I was making some dumb decisions but you have to go back and visit those times, so you don’t go back to those times. For me, that’s been the biggest thing, for me, going back and looking like damn, Jones, what made you do this or why were you there? But if you don’t go back and visit those things, you don’t remember where you came from.