Jason Williams was one of the most electric players in the NBA after being drafted No. 7 by the Sacramento Kings in the 1998 NBA Draft.
White Chocolate brought that electricity to The Compound for an in-depth conversation with Set Free Richardson and Jadakiss on the season premiere of The Starting Five on DraftKings Network.
They take things back to the beginning, back to West Virginia. JWill says it’s not so much of a question of what’s in the water as the fact that there’s not much going on in Belle, West Virginia. At the time, Williams said it felt like the greatest place on Earth because he didn’t know any different, but looking back on it now the only way out was hooping or playing football like his former teammate and friend Randy Moss. Jadakiss says if you rolled up to town on a game night it was a ghost town because everybody was at the game. Speaking of, what was it liking for Williams playing on the court, and the football field, with Moss back in the day?
Williams said the most important thing was that he and Moss felt like they had a chance to win every game. Williams said he played with a lot of good athletes in his career, but he doesn’t know if he’s met a better athlete than Randy Moss. Williams said he might be a little biased, but he thinks Moss is the greatest receiver to ever play the game.
Williams said he got lucky because his rookie season was the 1999 lockout-shortened season comprised of only 50 games. He says he got away with a lot, but he was still the subject of some good old-fashioned rookie hazing. He tells the story of arriving in a snowy Boston and being told to help take the bags off the plane and onto the bus ... after taking his shirt off. He was mad about it, but he had to do it right? So he does it, but he said he didn’t even want to get back on the bus with his teammates and just laid right on top of the bags where he put them. He also talks about Vernon Maxwell telling him he wants some donuts and juice sent to his room in the morning during one of his first road trips. So Williams said he went to Maxwell’s room at 2:30 in the morning and delivered his donuts and juice. And Mad Max never asked him for donuts and juice again.
Williams said every night during his rookie year was a dream moment. He said he grew up watching these guys hoop and now here he was not only playing against them but he’s got to guard them. But, he said, on the opposite side they had to deal with him! So he said he just had to buckle down as they are just going to hoop just like he was out here hooping.
Set Free had to know — how did Williams get the nickname “White Chocolate?” Williams said he thinks it came from a woman in the Sacramento PR department. He’s cool with it, even if some other people didn’t like it and it may not fly today. Jadakiss said it was the perfect name to give Williams. Once you get on the court, Williams said, if you can hoop you can hoop. Speaking of hooping, Williams was without a doubt one of the most creative passers in league history. How did that come to be?
Williams said that was how he played the game his whole life. Some people might think he was trying to be fancy or something, but that was just how he played the game. He said he practiced some of his behind-the-back passes more than most people practice traditional passes! So he’s going to do the behind-the-back pass and the traditional pass better than you, so just leave him alone and let him do his thing! As long as the team was successful, that was the only thing that mattered, he said. He said he thought he got the short end of the stick because people didn’t think that winning mattered to him. But Jason said that the 14 other dudes on the bench with him knew all he wanted to do was win and that’s what mattered to him.
For more of the conversation with Jason Williams check out the full interview below. Stopping by The Compound next will be 15-year NBA vet JJ Redick on November 26. You can tune in at 6:30 p.m. ET on DraftKings Network on Samsung TV Plus, Roku, Xumo Play or here on DraftKingsNetwork.com! Learn more about how to watch here.
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