Honestly, I don’t know if I’ve ever watched one of these ESPN “My Wish” segments without tearing up. This particular piece highlighting a young cancer patient named Brendan Galanaugh and his idol, Landon Donovan, was no different. It would have been great without Donovan’s storybook ending to the day, but once he scored those goals, it was a wrap. Good stuff.
Damn, a sad day for one of my all-time favorite players. This is the kind of news that makes me feel old as hell too:
Los Angeles Clippers point guard Jason Williams announced his retirement from the NBA today, ending his 10-year career. Signed by the Clippers as a free agent on August 7, 2008, Williams did not appear in a game for Los Angeles.
Williams enjoyed a 10-year NBA career that saw him take the court for three different teams, (Sacramento 1998-2001, Memphis 2001-2005 and Miami 2005-2008). A member of the NBA Champion Miami Heat in 2005-06, Williams started all 23 playoff games and averaged 9.3 points and 3.9 assists for Miami in helping to win the organization’s first title.
The West Virginia native leaves the NBA with career averages of 11.4 points, 6.3 assists, 1.3 steals, 2.4 rebounds while shooting 39.6 percent from the floor, 32.5 percent from three-point range and 81.6 percent from the foul line in 679 total games. Williams finishes his career with a 2.77 assist-to-turnover ratio.
He enjoyed his best statistical season in 2001-02 when he averaged 14.8 points, 8.0 assists and 3.0 rebounds for Memphis. In his four seasons with the Grizzlies, Williams became the club’s all-time assists leader and all-time leader in three-point field goals attempted in addition to being named the NBA’s Most Improved Player for the 2002-03 season by Sports Illustrated when he finished tied for second in the league in assists per game.
Originally drafted with the seventh overall selection in the 1998 NBA Draft by Sacramento after one season at the University of Florida, Williams was named to the 1998-99 NBA All-Rookie Team following an electrifying first season that saw him average 12.8 points and 6.0 assists. Over the next nine seasons, Williams emerged as one of the most dependable point guards in the NBA, averaging double-figures in scoring and at least five assists per game in eight of his ten years in the league.
After seeing this news on a messageboard, I noticed someone also posted up a little J-Will highlight reel. If you’ve ever talked to me on AIM, now you know where the “55” in the name comes from…
I watched that last highlight in person at Key Arena and I’ll never forget it. He had just pulled off a great play and followed it up by freezing Gary Payton (at that time, the NBA’s best defender) and kissing it high off the glass. Even the Sonic fans went crazy for that one. R.I.P. Seattle Supersonics.