Jason Williams (basketball, Born 1975)
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Jason Williams Basketball, Born 1975

Jason Williams
Jason Williams Orlando cropped.jpg
Williams with the Orlando Magic in 2010
Personal information
Born (1975-11-18) November 18, 1975 (age 45)
Belle, West Virginia
Listed height6 ft 1 in (1.85 m)
Listed weight180 lb (82 kg)
Career information
High schoolDuPont (Belle, West Virginia)
NBA draft1998 / Round: 1 / Pick: 7th overall
Selected by the Sacramento Kings
Playing career1998-2008, 2009-2011
PositionPoint guard
Number55, 2, 44, 3
Career history
1998-2001Sacramento Kings
2001-2005Memphis Grizzlies
2005-2008Miami Heat
2009-2011Orlando Magic
2011Memphis Grizzlies
Career highlights and awards
Career NBA statistics
Points8,286 (10.5 ppg)
Rebounds1,810 (2.3 rpg)
Assists4,611 (5.9 apg)
Stats Edit this at Wikidata at NBA.com
Stats at Basketball-Reference.com

Jason Chandler Williams (born November 18, 1975) is an American former professional basketball player who was a point guard in the National Basketball Association (NBA) for twelve seasons during the late 1990s and 2000s. In 2006, Williams won an NBA championship as the starting point guard for the Miami Heat. Due to his flashy style of play, and the fact that he is white, he was given the nickname "White Chocolate".

A native of West Virginia, Williams played college basketball for Marshall University and the University of Florida. The Sacramento Kings selected him in the first round of the 1998 NBA draft. He also played for the Memphis Grizzlies, Miami Heat, and Orlando Magic throughout his career. The Heat named Williams one of their top 25 players of all time in 2007.[1]

Early years

Williams was born in Belle, West Virginia. He attended DuPont High School (Now Riverside High School) in Belle, where he played high school basketball for the DuPont Panthers in 1994, and led his high school team to the state championship before being defeated by Martinsburg in the final.[2] He became the only player in DuPont team history to reach 1,000 points and 500 assists. USA Today named Williams the West Virginia Player of the Year in 1994. Pro Football Hall of Fame wide receiver Randy Moss was one of Williams' high school basketball teammates.[3]

College career

Williams originally committed to play college basketball for Providence College, but instead chose to attend Marshall University after Providence coach Rick Barnes left for Clemson. At Marshall, he played for coach Billy Donovan's Marshall Thundering Herd men's basketball team from 1994 to 1996. After redshirting his first season, he averaged 13.4 points and 6.4 assists per game during his 1995-96 freshman year.[4]

When Marshall coach Billy Donovan accepted the head coaching position at the University of Florida in the summer of 1996, Williams decided to transfer and follow Donovan to Florida.[5] After sitting out the 1996-97 season as required by the NCAA transfer rule, he became the starting point guard for the Florida Gators men's basketball team during the 1997-98 season, and set a Florida Gators single-game record with 17 assists in a December 3, 1997 game against Duquesne.[6][7] Through twenty games, he averaged 17.1 points, 6.7 assists and 2.8 steals per game, and led the Gators to an 86-78 upset of the Kentucky Wildcats in Lexington, Kentucky.[8][9] In February 1998, however, the University of Florida suspended him for the remainder of the season for cannabis use, after two previous suspensions for the same infraction.[10]

Professional career


Following his suspension by the University of Florida, Williams decided to make himself eligible for the NBA draft. He was the seventh overall selection in the 1998 NBA draft by the Sacramento Kings.[11]

Sacramento Kings

In his rookie year, the Kings, with a roster that included newcomers Williams, Chris Webber, Vlade Divac, and Peja Stojakovi?, turned into a playoff contender. That year, Williams' number 55 jersey was among the top five sellers of all NBA players.[12]

On July 20, 2000, Williams was suspended for the first five games of the 2000-01 NBA season for failure to comply with his treatment obligations under the NBA's anti-drug program. The NBA does not release details of violations of the anti-drug program.[13]

On February 28, 2001, Williams allegedly shouted racist slurs to Michael Ching, a Golden State Warriors season ticket-holder, and to several other Asian Americans seated beside Ching during a Warriors game at the Oakland Arena. As recounted by a letter Ching sent to NBA commissioner David Stern, Williams retaliated against heckling made by Ching and his party midway through the first half.[14]

The NBA eventually levied a $15,000 fine on Jason Williams for cursing at fans. Nike decided to change a planned advertising campaign featuring Williams as a result of his alleged actions as well.[15] Williams has since apologized for the incident.[16]

The NBA had previously fined Williams $10,000 for comments to a fan at the Alamodome in San Antonio, Texas, in 2000.[]

Memphis Grizzlies

In 2001, the Kings traded Williams and Nick Anderson to the Vancouver Grizzlies for Mike Bibby and Brent Price.[17] The team relocated to Memphis, Tennessee several weeks after the trade.[18] In 2002, Grizzlies' general manager Jerry West hired Hubie Brown out of retirement to coach the team. The team improved by a franchise record 28 wins in Brown's first season.

After Memphis was swept by the Phoenix Suns in the 2005 NBA Playoffs, Williams was reportedly involved in an altercation with Geoff Calkins, a columnist for the Commercial Appeal. Sources said that Williams screamed in Calkins' ear and took his pen away from him. Calkins had previously quoted Williams as saying, "I'm happy. I go home and see my kids and my wife and I'm OK. All of this [stuff] is secondary to me."[19]

Calkins was critical of the Grizzlies' lackadaisical play and had alleged that Williams did not care about winning basketball games. Williams was fined $10,000 for the incident on May 4, 2005.[20] Williams maintained that the quotations were out of context, especially after Williams had delivered spectacular performances during the series, despite the Grizzlies' loss.

Miami Heat

Williams with Miami teammate Gary Payton in 2006

On August 2, 2005, Williams and teammate James Posey were two of thirteen players involved in the biggest trade in league history that saw them being dealt to the Miami Heat in exchange for shooting guard Eddie Jones.[21]

Williams started at point guard for the Heat in the 2005-06 campaign, playing a total of 59 games due to a knee injury but placing second only to Dwyane Wade in minutes per game. He would serve as the third leading scorer for Miami averaging 12.3 points a game, only trailed Wade with 4.9 assists per contest and was one of three players on the team with over 100 three-point baskets for the season. In the playoffs his averages were lower than the regular season, but he scored in double figures 11 times in the post-season including 21 points on 10 of 11 shooting in Game 6 of the Eastern Finals against the Detroit Pistons. Miami closed out Detroit in that game and would win the NBA Championship over the Dallas Mavericks, giving Williams his first and only title.

In the 2006-07 season, Williams was limited to 61 games, of which he started 55. He averaged 10.9 points and 5.3 assists, which did not meet his career averages of 11.7 and 6.5. His play dropped dramatically in the postseason, averaging 5.8 points per game and 3.5 assists per game. His struggles contributed to the Heat being swept by the Bulls in four games in the first round of the playoffs.

In the 2007-08 season, Williams played 67 games while averaging 8.7 points and 4.6 assists per game. He shot 41.5 percent from the field, 86.3 percent from the free-throw line, and 35.3 percent from beyond the three-point arc. In March, he had 34 points versus Orlando, connecting on five three-point baskets. He had two double-doubles: one against Phoenix and one against the Bucks; both were 21-point, 10-assist performances.[22]

Retirement and return

Williams came out of retirement to play with the Orlando Magic in 2009

In the summer of 2008, Williams signed with the Los Angeles Clippers to a one-year deal.[23] However, on September 26, 2008 Williams announced his retirement from the NBA after 10 years due to persistent injuries.[24]

In February 2009, Williams announced he would attempt a return to the NBA.[25] On August 19, 2009, Williams signed with the Orlando Magic.[26] The move reunited Williams with Stan Van Gundy, his former coach in Miami, who pushed the team to make the signing.[27] Orlando was also located just south of Gainesville, where he had gone to college.

Williams played in all 82 games for the Magic that year, including 18 starts when Jameer Nelson was injured. He also played in all 14 of their playoff games, as the Magic advanced to the Eastern Conference Finals, where they lost to the Boston Celtics in six games. He re-signed with the team on August 3, 2010.[28]

On September 29, 2010, Williams had arthroscopic knee surgery,[29] though he was still able to play the season-opener on October 28.[30] After missing time due to injury, Williams was unable to crack the Magic's rotation behind Nelson and new acquisitions Chris Duhon and Gilbert Arenas.[31][32] He was granted his release from the team on January 26, 2011.[33]

He signed a two-year deal with the Memphis Grizzlies on February 7, 2011,[34] returning to the team where he was their all-time assists leader (since surpassed by Mike Conley).[35] The rest of the season was fully guaranteed, with a player option for the second year of the contract.[36]

On April 18, 2011, Williams officially announced his second retirement from the NBA.[37]

BIG3 career

On February 1, 2017, it was announced that Willams would be playing in the 3-on-3 basketball league BIG3, on the 3 Headed Monsters with former teammate Rashard Lewis.[38] In his debut he injured his knee, and missed the remainder of the BIG3 season as a result.[39]

Player profile

Williams with the Heat in 2006

Early in his career, Williams built a reputation for an unorthodox "street" style of play. He became a regular on SportsCenter for his spectacular passes and dazzling assists. He regularly attempted, and mostly completed passes such as behind-the back, no-look and half-court. Popular user-generated Internet-video sites contain many "home-made" highlight videos dedicated solely to Williams' highlights. He was also known for taking spectacular three-point shots that drove home audiences wild.[] With his risky play, he was turnover-prone at times: in his second and fourth years, he peaked at over 3.5 per game. His playing style led Williams to be benched during crucial periods of some games. For example, in the 2000 NBA Playoffs, Williams sat out most of the fourth quarter in all five games against the Los Angeles Lakers.

In his later years with Memphis and Miami, he significantly tamed his extravagant playing style and consistently achieved one of the highest assists per turnover ratios in the NBA. Throughout his entire career, Williams continued to be known for his assists and for his creativity.[40]

In the Rookie Challenge of the NBA All-Star Weekend in 2000, in a counter-attack, Williams made a no-look, behind-the-back pass off the elbow on a full sprint to Raef LaFrentz. "I did it so you all wouldn't ask me to ever do it again", Williams said.[41]


Williams' nickname was "White Chocolate". The nickname was started in Williams' rookie year by Stephanie Shepard, a media relations assistant with the Sacramento Kings. "I came up with that name because of his style", Shepard said. "He has flash and pizazz. The way he does things with the ball is incredible to me. It reminds me of, like, schoolyard street ball when I go to Chicago."[12]

Personal life

Despite his NBA success, Williams preferred to stay out of the spotlight and live a low-key lifestyle, spending time with his family. Williams married Denika Kisty, a University of Florida alumna, a former member of the Florida Gators track and field team, and an All-American javelin thrower.[42] Williams and his wife have three children; in his NBA profile, he listed his family as his "most treasured possession".[3]

Williams is a close friend of former Miami Heat teammate and center Shaquille O'Neal, having been neighbors in Orlando for three years. "I was the one who helped broker the deal this summer", O'Neal said (in 2005) of the five-team, 13-player trade that brought Williams to Miami. "He wanted to play with me and I wanted to play with a guard who loves to pass and I think it'll be a good combination for myself and [guard] Dwyane Wade."[43]

Williams has a number of tattoos, which include a panther on his right arm, a dragon on his left arm (which was redone in the 2007-08 season), an eye on his chest of which he said, "It's why I pass so good, I have a 3rd eye". In the 2000-01 season, he had a wolf holding a basketball on his arm, and "WHITEBOY"[44] tattooed across his knuckles. He also has his children's names on his forearms.[]

Social and charitable work

In 2003, Williams, when he was playing for the Memphis Grizzlies, along with Dr. Bob Wallace of the UT Medical Group founded the We Will Foundation, a charitable foundation to benefit children facing treatment for craniofacial deformities.[]

Williams was also a frequent visitor to St. Jude Children's Hospital when he was a player in Memphis, Tennessee. "I started going over not long after I got here," said Williams, who has always said he likes to be around kids. "I go see them when I can, and it's great to see their faces light up!"[45]

NBA career statistics

Regular season

1998-99 Sacramento 50 50 36.1 .374 .310 .752 3.1 6.0 1.9 .0 12.8
1999-2000 Sacramento 81 81 34.1 .373 .287 .753 2.8 7.3 1.4 .1 12.3
2000-01 Sacramento 77 77 29.7 .407 .315 .789 2.4 5.4 1.2 .1 9.4
2001-02 Memphis 65 65 34.4 .382 .295 .792 3.0 8.0 1.7 .1 14.8
2002-03 Memphis 76 76 31.7 .388 .354 .840 2.8 8.3 1.2 .1 12.1
2003-04 Memphis 72 68 29.4 .407 .330 .837 2.0 6.8 1.3 .1 10.9
2004-05 Memphis 71 68 27.5 .413 .324 .792 1.7 5.6 1.1 .1 10.1
Miami 59 56 31.8 .442 .372 .867 2.4 4.9 .9 .1 12.3
2006-07 Miami 61 55 30.6 .413 .339 .913 2.3 5.3 1.0 .0 10.9
2007-08 Miami 67 53 28.1 .384 .353 .863 1.9 4.6 1.2 .1 8.8
2009-10 Orlando 82 18 20.8 .444 .380 .756 1.5 3.6 .6 .0 6.0
2010-11 Orlando 16 0 10.7 .342 .304 .000 1.4 1.5 .5 .0 2.1
2010-11 Memphis 11 0 11.3 .310 .200 .000 .7 2.5 .3 .1 1.9
Career 788 667 29.4 .398 .327 .813 2.3 5.9 1.2 .1 10.5


1999 Sacramento 5 5 32.6 .356 .310 1.000 3.6 4.0 1.6 .2 10.0
2000 Sacramento 5 5 29.0 .375 .320 .800 1.6 2.4 .6 .0 10.4
2001 Sacramento 8 8 23.9 .426 .367 1.000 2.3 2.9 1.0 .0 8.8
2004 Memphis 4 4 32.5 .326 .286 1.000 2.3 4.5 .5 .0 10.8
2005 Memphis 4 4 28.5 .528 .476 1.000 2.3 5.3 1.5 .0 17.0
2006+ Miami 23 23 29.8 .405 .274 .844 2.0 3.9 .7 .0 9.3
2007 Miami 4 4 28.0 .250 .294 .800 2.0 3.5 1.3 .3 5.8
2010 Orlando 14 0 13.7 .342 .250 1.000 .8 1.6 .3 .0 2.6
Career 67 53 25.9 .393 .309 .889 1.9 3.3 .8 .0 8.3

See also


  1. ^ "HEAT Unveils Top 25 Players of All -Time". NBA.com. December 8, 2008. Retrieved 2010.
  2. ^ Kozlowski, Rick (January 21, 2019). "Martinsburg to honor state title team from 1994". The Journal. Retrieved 2021.
  3. ^ a b "Jason Williams". NBA.com. Archived from the original on February 15, 2009. Retrieved 2012.
  4. ^ "Promising UF hoops player quits". Star-Banner. February 27, 1997. Retrieved 2012.
  5. ^ "Marshal to allow Williams to transfer". The Ledger. July 3, 1996. Retrieved 2012.
  6. ^ "Williams takes charge in Florida's 100-85 victory". Ocala Star-Banner. Associated Press. November 19, 1997. p. 6C. Retrieved 2012.
  7. ^ "2011-12 Florida Gators Men's Basketball Media Guide" (PDF). gatorzone.com. Gainesville, Florida: University Athletic Association. 2011. pp. 10, 48, 71, 72, 74, 80, 81, 84-85, 156, 160, 161, 164, 181. Archived from the original (PDF) on May 1, 2012. Retrieved 2012.
  8. ^ "Gators drop Jason Williams for remainder of season". Ocala Star-Banner. Associated Press. February 18, 1998. Retrieved 2012 – via Google News.
  9. ^ "Florida stuns Kentucky; New Mexico tops Utah". The Post and Courier. February 2, 1998. p. 4C. Retrieved 2012 – via Google News.
  10. ^ "Williams hit with 5-game suspension". The Gainesville Sun. Associated Press. July 21, 2000. p. 1C. Retrieved 2012 – via Google News.
  11. ^ "1Clippers take Olowokandi No. 1 in draft". Amarillo Globe-News. June 25, 1998. Retrieved 2013.
  12. ^ a b Wise, Mike (April 27, 1999). "His Game, and Name, Create Stir; Jason (White Chocolate) Williams Sets Off Debate on Stereotypes". NY Times. Retrieved 2009.
  13. ^ "Kings' Williams Is Suspended". The New York Times. July 21, 2000. Retrieved 2013.
  14. ^ Weinstein, Brad. "Williams Accused Of Slurs", San Francisco Chronicle, March 16, 2001.
  15. ^ Callanan, Neil (April 29, 2001). "Nike jumps as white star falls from grace". The Sunday Business Post. Archived from the original on December 30, 2008. Retrieved 2013.
  16. ^ "Williams Says Sorry for Racist Slurs". AsianWeek. March 30, 2001. Archived from the original on November 30, 2004. Retrieved 2013.
  17. ^ Beacham, Greg (June 28, 2001). "Kings ship Williams to Grizzlies". USA Today. Retrieved 2013.
  18. ^ "Grizzlies Officially Moving to Memphis". NBA.com. July 3, 2001. Retrieved 2019.
  19. ^ "Memphis guard angry over column". espn.go.com. ESPN. May 2, 2005. Retrieved 2013.
  20. ^ "Grizzlies' Williams fined $10,000 for berating media". USA Today. May 4, 2005. Retrieved 2013.
  21. ^ Reynolds, Tim (August 2, 2005). "Walker to Heat in five-team, 13-player megadeal". USA Today. Retrieved 2013.
  22. ^ "Jason Williams 2007-08 Game Log". Basketball-Reference.com. Retrieved 2014.
  23. ^ "Clippers reach terms with free-agent guard Williams". espn.go.com. ESPN. August 8, 2008. Retrieved 2019.
  24. ^ "Clippers Guard Jason Williams Announces Retirement After 10 Year NBA Career". Los Angeles Clippers. NBA.com. September 26, 2008. Retrieved 2013.
  25. ^ "NBA Basketball News, Scores, Standings, Rumors, Fantasy Games". Sports.yahoo.com. Retrieved 2019.
  26. ^ "Magic Sign Free Agent Jason Williams". Orlando Magic. NBA.com. August 19, 2009. Retrieved 2009.
  27. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on August 24, 2009. Retrieved 2016.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  28. ^ Robbins, Josh (August 3, 2010). "Orlando Magic re-sign Jason Williams". Orlando Sentinel. Retrieved 2013.
  29. ^ Robbins, Josh (October 26, 2010). "Jason Williams could be activated for Magic's season opener". Orlando Sentinel. Retrieved 2020.
  30. ^ "Wizards vs. Magic - Box Score - October 28, 2010". espn.go.com. ESPN. October 28, 2010. Retrieved 2019.
  31. ^ Schmitz, Brian (December 26, 2010). "Hurting Jason Williams won't accompany Magic on road trip, career could be in jeopardy". Orlando Sentinel. Retrieved 2020.
  32. ^ Robbins, Josh (January 26, 2011). "Orlando Magic waive Jason Williams". Orlando Sentinel. Retrieved 2013.
  33. ^ "Magic Waive Jason Williams | Orlando Magic". nba.com. January 26, 2011. Retrieved 2019.
  34. ^ "Grizzlies sign G Jason Williams". WBIR. February 7, 2011. Archived from the original on December 27, 2013. Retrieved 2013.
  35. ^ "Mavericks vs. Grizzlies - Game Recap". espn.go.com. ESPN. Associated Press. December 22, 2012. Retrieved 2019.
  36. ^ Tillery, Ronald (February 14, 2011). "Jason Williams back with Grizzlies to pen a new ending". The Commercial Appeal. Archived from the original on February 14, 2011. Retrieved 2019.
  37. ^ Stevens, Randall (April 19, 2011). "Grizzlies' Jason Williams Announces Retirement After 12 Years". Baller Status. Retrieved 2013.
  38. ^ Rapp, Timothy. "Jason Williams, Rashard Lewis Join 3 Headed Monsters of BIG3 League". Bleacher Report. Retrieved 2017.
  39. ^ "Jason Williams to miss rest of Big3 season after suffering knee injury". USA TODAY. Retrieved 2017.
  40. ^ "Do you like White Chocolate Basketball? - The Basketball Fans". The Basketball Fans. July 18, 2018. Retrieved 2018.
  41. ^ Martinez, Jose (July 21, 2012). "Clip of the Morning: Jason Williams Breaks Out the Elbow Pass to Scottie Pippen". Complex. Retrieved 2013.
  42. ^ "2008 University of Florida Track and Field Media Guide" (PDF). gatorzone.com. Archived from the original (PDF) on September 29, 2014.
  43. ^ Perkins, Chris (October 10, 2005). "Not Apologetic, Just Himself". The Palm Beach Post.
  44. ^ "Solving NBA's tattoo riddles". New York Post. September 1, 2003. 11.
  45. ^ Dixon, Oscar (January 5, 2004). "On the record: Williams grows into a Grizzlies veteran". USA Today. Retrieved 2013.

External links

  This article uses material from the Wikipedia page available here. It is released under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share-Alike License 3.0.



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