Friday, August 8, 2008

Williams lands in exile?

I am a pretty big sports fan. I absolutely love the NFL, but my favorite sport since the fourth grade (the day I started playing) has been basketball.

I am not what you would call a tall person, 5'10", so throughout my basketball career I have always been a guard. So naturally, I have always gravitated towards guards in the NBA as my favorite to watch.

When I first got interested in basketball, the Chicago Bulls were on top of the world thanks to Michael Jordan. But, everyone was a Jordan fan - and if they weren't then it was most likely Scottie Pippen. I, however, noticed the short point guard who was nailing all of the 3's - B.J. Armstrong. So, for a good while, Armstrong became my favorite NBA player.

When Armstrong retired it was right around the time that a pretty exciting player was entering the league for the Sacramento Kings - Jason Williams.

I had seen Williams a few times when he played for Florida, but was not fully aware of his capabilities until his rookie season for the Kings. He was like a breath of fresh air. His moves were absolutely amazing. He was like an artist with the basketball, and could see the entire court, which made for excellent and pretty crazy passes.

Williams landed in Sacramento the same year the Kings landed Chris Webber and Vlade Divac, and for the first time in awhile Sacramento was a challenger in the NBA's Western Conference.

Williams lasted four seasons in Sacramento, the Kings started to believe that due to Williams' sometimes erratic play that he could never lead Sacramento to an NBA title - so he was traded to Memphis for Mike Bibby (who also never led the Kings to an NBA title).

While a Grizzly, Williams, along with Pau Gasol and Shane Battier, actually made the team relevant for the first time in franchise history - even winning 50 games one season and claiming the sixth seed in the playoffs. They got swept each year in those playoffs, but for a team that had never been there - they were actually respectable.

Finally, Williams was again traded, to the Miami Heat - and teamed up with Dwyane Wade and Shaquille O'Neal to win his first NBA title (as a starting point guard - didn't think it could be done Sacramento?) in the 2005-06 season.

Williams has fallen on hard times as of late in the injury department, but has still been plenty productive - finishing last season 12th in steals per game and eighth in assist/turnover ratio.

The Heat, who completely fell apart last season, have decided to go in a different direction - so it was unsure whether Williams would return, or where he would end up.

I frantically have been checking the transactions, but no deals for Williams have been listed - until last night. Williams has signed with the Los Angeles Clippers. Yes, the Clippers.

I am not sure how to take this. Obviously, Williams is going to be the backup point guard to newly signed Baron Davis. But, the Clippers have had like one decent season in a decade. There looks to be some promise on the roster, but are they a playoff team?

I guess we will just have to wait and see. I am happy, however, that Williams landed with another NBA team and didn't take a deal that would have him playing overseas - which was apparently offered.

Good Luck in Clipperland, Jason. I hope to see you in the playoffs.

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