With Shelden Williams, the journeyman PF/C, agreeing to a one year, vets minimum deal worth $884,000 and Shawne Williams agreeing to a two-yearr, $6.1 million deal, the Nets have 15 players in camp and the number of Williamses in camp to four, joining Deron Williams and rookie Jordan Williams.
As Fred Kerber noted, "The popularity of the Williams name continues for the Nets." Indeed, the Nets history now includes 15, count 'em 15, players with the surname Williams...not including Jay Williams who tried out but was cut. It's a varied lot, with one whose uniform jersey hangs in the rafters at the Prudential Center and another whose uniform bears not no name, just a number.
Two years ago. long-time Nets fan and forum contributor Ghoti penned this ode to the Williamses of New Jersey. We updated and revised it. And we also added an honorary Williams...the Nets' team orthopedist.
The guy's name is Williams.
We don't know if any franchise out there has so much history with one surname. It's a varied and interesting group to say the least.
Buck Williams - He's the granddaddy of the Nets' Williamses. Played eight seasons for the Nets. One of the league's most fearsome rebounders. He brought the organization respect during some tough times. Still the franchise leader in several categories. His number retired by the Nets, he's said he thinks of himself as a Trailblazer. He probably is less upset at being associated with the Nets than he is about those whose uniform jerseys were emblazoned with the word, "Williams".
Earl Williams - A 6'7" forward, he played one game in 1976, scoring three points in seven minutes. Played one more season after.
Ray Williams - Gus's younger brother averaged over 20 PPG for a pretty good Nets team in 1981-82. Was reacquired and played briefly in 1986-87. Recently rescued from living in a car.
- "Silk" was best known as a Denver Nugget. He did end his career as a Net in 1997, suiting up for 11 games.
Kevin Williams - The small guard played 41 games as a Net in 1988-89 averaging 4.3 PPG.
Jayson Williams - The troubled PF finally shed his demons and became one of the league's most ferocious rebounders. Played seven seasons for the Nets, retiring as the franchise's second leading boardsman. Was an All-Star in 1998. Wrote a well-received book called "Loose Balls". Lost his way after being forced to retire in 1999. Drunkenly killed a man in his house and haphazardly tried to cover it up. After punching random people in the face and getting tazered by police while awaiting re-trial for manslaughter, he was ultimately jailed. His New Jersey Department of Corrections record lists his alias as "Big Daddy".
Aaron Williams - Rugged PF was a key component on the Nets' two finals teams in 2001-02 and 2002-03. Had his best seasons during his five year tenure as a Net. Was an efficient scorer, fine rebounder and extremely strong defender who could guard players much larger than his 6'9". I never heard a Net fan say a bad word about him. Very popular. A real lunchpail guy. Part of the trade that brought Vince Carter to the Nets.
Eric Williams - The New Jersey native was another popular player in his travels around the league. Played 21 games for the Nets in 2004-05. Then, just another Williams sent to Toronto in the Vince Carter trade. Reportedly cried when he left New Jersey. That's a first.
Marcus Williams - Notorious for his involvement in a scheme to sell laptops stolen from his fellow (female) UConn students, this pudgy PG showed tremendous court vision during his college career. The Nets were thrilled to nab him with the 22nd pick in the 2006 draft. Initially showed flashes, but failed to shoot 40%, played out of control most of the time and seemed unequipped and uninterested in playing defense. After two tumultuous seasons was traded to Golden State, where he flamed out. Not currently close to playing in the NBA, but we did hear he did well last year in Siberia!
Jay Williams - Played a few preseason games in 2006 as he tried to get back to the NBA after a devastating motorbike crash that almost cost him his leg. The former #2 overall selection out of Duke, this New Jersey native had a solid rookie season, including a triple double against the Nets. After a long rehab, on September 28, 2006, the Nets gave him a non-guaranteed contract, However, on October 22, Williams was released. Currently working for ESPN as a college basketball analyst. Good guy, bad driver.
Sean Williams - Quirky, hyper-athletic forward with incredible energy and shot-blocking ability who has so far not been able to harness that into NBA success. Was suspended from Boston College and banned from the basketball program for repeated violations of team policy. Associated strongly with Marijuana use. Very immature guy who fell out of favor with the organization and his teammates after prolonged strange behavior - including an incident where he abused a store clerk and broke a computer monitor after being told he could not purchase a mobile phone without ID. Once a member of the Texas Legends (at least in his own mind) of the D-League, he's playing for Maccabi Haifa in Israel.
Terrence Williams - Another offbeat character. Known to wear a Barbie backpack and Spongebob Squarepants socks around campus. Drafted by the Nets with the 11th pick in 2009. Rod Thorn says he was rated in the team's top five. While showing signs he can play at the NBA level, he never mastered the alarm clock. Traded to Houston.
Shawne Williams - The Nets didn't want him, but had to take him so they could dump Eduardo Najera's contract. Now they want him again. He lasted 72 hours the first time, 48 hours of which were spent on the waiver wire. After arriving in East Rutherford 20 to 30 pounds overweight in 2009, he said he had to go home to Memphis to visit his sick grandmother. Turned out he actually had to return for his arraignment on drug trafficking charges. The drug charges were trumped up. After he pleaded guilty to a misdemeanor, he wound up getting community service. Now, after a big rebound season with the Knicks, the Nets wanted him back. With them offering $1 million more than the Knicks, they won.
Deron Williams - Not since the arrival of Jason Kidd has the term "savior" been applied to a player like it has with D-Will. Williams came to the Nets in a surprise blockbuster trade just before the deadline. Playing with a bad wrist, he only made it into 12 games but showed a level of skills not seen since Kidd left. So good he'll make you want to cry and if he leaves at the end of next season, we will cry. Now toiling in Turkey where he has made like a whirling dervish in the paint. Stay healthy, please, we beg you. Very much unlike an NBA player with a wife he met in grammar school, a best friend he met before that and an independent streak.
Jordan Williams - He's 6'10" and from Maryland. What could go wrong. Is he Buck Williams II, the Return? We doubt it but he seems like a good kid (watch out!) and one who just wants to play. So much, he decided to pack up and head for Poland and not even Warsaw or Crakow, but Zeilona Gora in western Poland. Then, on arrival in the western Polish city, he learned the lockout was over. He never played a minute. Could be in better shape, we're told. He grew up 50 miles from Springfield, Mass. He'll be enjoying Mom's home cooking soon enough.
Shelden Williams - His biggest claim to fame: his wife is Candace Parker, the Los Angeles Sparks superstar. The 6'10" PF/C is pretty much a draft bust, after going #5 in the 2006 Draft. The Nets are his seventh team in six years, hardly a recommendation. Highly unlikely to get into trouble: steady and stable. He is the fifth Williams to have played for the Knicks and Nets.
Special Honorary Williams
Riley J. Williams III, M.D. - He doesn't play for the Nets, but he is on the bench and sometimes travels with them, like he did on the round-the-world preseason tour last year. He is the Nets orthopedist, the one who discovered bone chips in Deron Williams' wrist (when Jazz doctors couldn't) and then performed the surgery. Anyone who's been watching the D-Will in Istanbul vs. the D-Will of Newark, can appreciate Dr. Williams' handiwork. With degrees from Yale and Stanford, he's as likely as his famous patient to stay out of trouble.
So we begin another chapter can now be added to this epic tale. There are legends (and one Legend), thieves, a murderer, drug users, Spongebob Fans - a cast of characters so diverse and crazy you couldn't make it up if you tried.
Good luck, Deron. we're sure whatever happens with you it won't be boring.