Monday, January 15, 2007

Jason Williams

Up watching the Heat/Lakers game on TNT. As great as Dwyane Wade is and as spectacular as Kobe has been this season (which I begrudgingly admit), the guy who really stood out tonight way Jason Williams.

Not because he did anything special. Because he didn't. But it just got me thinking... what the fuck happened to this guy?

I mean, he was never really that good. But... damn, he was the most off-the-charts fun player in the league when he burst upon the scene on the Kings. I know he took too many horseshit shots and threw the ball away a bunch of times. And I know he has a ring. But I wish he wasn't neutered.

A primer for people reading this who don't know what the hell I'm talking about: Jason Williams was this relatively unknown point guard who got drafted by the Sacramento Kings, then a bottom feeding NBA team. Williams came out of nowhere and became a walking Sportscenter highlight -- spinning behind the neck passes, 75-foot bounce passes, etc. He was a video game player come to life. I mean, he really wasn't very good. He turned the ball over a lot. His shot sucked. But still... there was never anyone quite like him.

The Kings became a "ohmygodyouhavetoseethem" team in the late 90's, a period of the NBA which was the absolute worst to sit through. The Kings were the most (and only) aesthetically pleasing team in the era. The Kings became a good team because they had Vlade Divac and Chris Weber and Doug Christie, but Jason Williams' style was their signature and was the only interesting thing in basketball in that era. They became an elite team when they traded J-Wil, but... man, I miss them.

I have Gilbert and the Suns and the Nuggets. But it still makes me wonder whenever I watch the Heat, how someone lost all of their personality on a court.


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