With the arrival of Deron Williams, the Nets history now includes 13, count 'em 13, players with the surname Williams. It's a varied lot, with one whose uniform jersey hangs in the rafters at the Prudential Center and another whose uniform carries not a name, but 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 Thursday.
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" foward, 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. When last we heard, he was 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. Another piece sent to Toronto in the Vince Carter trade. Reportedly cried when he left New Jersey.
Marcus Williams - Notorious for his involvement in a scheme to sell laptops stolen from his fellow 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 hear it's nice this time of year in Siberia!
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. As of today, a member of the Texas Legends of the D-League. He certainly is.
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. He lasted 72 hours, 48 hours of which were spent on the waiver wire. After arriving in East Rutherford 20 to 30 pounds overweight, 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. Now toiling for the Knicks.
With the acquisition of Deron Williams, 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.