Where Are They Now, 2009: Part 57
March 23rd, 2009

The following people are all called Williams.


Ajani Williams hasn’t played anywhere since scoring one point in two preseason games for the Atlanta Hawks in 2005. Probably not even Hawks fans remember this. That’s how insignificant Williams’s impact on the NBA landscape was. (No offence intended there, but….well, he’s so unheard of that Googling his name returns this website as the fourth result. And that should never happen.) His career before this is obscure, too – starting as a walk-on with Georgia Tech, Williams transferred to Eastern Michigan, where he didn’t play much, and certainly didn’t star. Tours in Bulgaria, the Philippines (where he became a bit of a hit) and the USBL followed, amongst others, and then Williams was signed by the Magic for 2004 training camp after (presumably) impressing in summer league that season with the Mavericks. He didn’t make the team, though, and returned to Bulgaria for a second stint, before the Hawks came a-calling the next season. Seemingly, being able to score one point in an official NBA game (if not a regular season game) was a satisfactory conclusion to Ajani’s professional basketball dreams, and it seems he hasn’t played anywhere since then, despite still being only 32 years of age. Williams is now the president of the Jamaican Basketball Association, choosing to help develop his homeland’s game in preference to taking a player development job at the NBA’s head office in New York. Also, according to this, AJ is the author of a guide called “How to become a PRO Basketball Player – The Complete Guide and Manual”, which I can’t seem to find anywhere. Then again, since it was apparently made in ring binders, that shouldn’t seem surprising. (I did find this, but I’m assuming it’s not the same person.)

I spent an hour looking up all that Ajani Williams information, so please don’t skim-read it.


– Speaking of Jamaican ex-training camp signings with the surname Williams, former Raptors signee Corey Williams spent the year in Australia playing for the Townsville Crocodiles. “Homicide” killed it, averaging 18.7 points, 4.4 rebounds and 4.4 assists in 32 games, albeit while hitting only four three-pointers all year.


Ezra Williams has had a weird career. After going undrafted in 2003, Williams spent the 2003-04 season playing in the NBDL, USBL and WBA in that order, and then spent the 2004-05 season in the CBA, finishing second in the league in scoring. For that, Ezra was rewarded with a training camp invite to the Seattle Supersonics, but he was an early cut. Williams spent the 2005-06 season in the NBDL again, averaging 12.5 ppg for the Austin Toros, and then tried the summer league route again in 2006 with the New Orleans Hornets. It didn’t work, though, and Williams spent the 2006-07 season playing for Mersin in Turkey, before trying the summer league route again in 2007, and again with the Hornets. Again, it didn’t work, and Williams sat out last season before returning to the Toros this year, where he averages 11.2 points and 4.0 rebounds in 39 games, shooting 44% from three-point range. In all those years, he’s seen only one stint in Europe, which seems a bit odd; Williams is not far short of his 30th birthday, and he won’t have earned much money from his professional basketball career to date. So why not visit the finest continent in the world and get the money up a bit? Is he excessively jingoistic? Xenophobic? Scared of flying over water? I need an answer on that, or else I’ll have to make one up.


Jawad Williams was one of five training camp signings by the Cavaliers, and the winner of the battle for the 15th roster spot after a 13-point, 5-rebound, 3-assist outing versus Boston. Why they chose to keep him around until the contract guarantee date, I’ll never know, since they never actually played him, but they did it anyway before waiving him to save money. However, seemingly unwilling to see the end of the Jawad Williams Experience, Cleveland then re-signed him for two ten-day contracts, giving him more money that they must then double for tax penalties, further proving to LeBron James that they’d spend whatever it took to create a winning team. (“Don’t leave us! We’ll even spent over half a million on the 15th man!”) Williams ended up appearing in nine games for the Cavaliers, totalling all of 10 minutes, and managing to score four points in that time. After the Cavaliers finally gave up on him, Williams latterly joined the Rio Grande Valley Vipers of the D-League, where he averages 23.8 points and 3.9 rebounds in 12 games.


Jerome Williams retired unusually early as the victim of the Knicks’sAllan Houston provision’, and became a community representative for his beloved Raptors. Three years on, I’m assuming that he is still there, due to a lack of evidence to the contrary.


Justin Williams played for both the Bobcats and Warriors in training camp this season, but didn’t make either team. He then tried out in China for Shandong in China, and didn’t make that team either. After that, he tried out for Besiktas in Turkey, but they sent him home, reportedly unsatisfied with his practices and conditioning. As a result, Williams has not played all season outside of a few scant preseason minutes.


– You’ll know Marcus Williams’s story, but here it is anyway; once a very highly-touted high lottery pick, Williams’s stock plummeted on draft night, and he ended up being drafted by the Nets behind Renaldo Balkman, much to everyone’s amusement. However, it turns out it was justified – Williams proceeded to do little in two seasons with the Nets, was traded to the Warriors this summer for a future first-round pick, but totalled only 12 points and 13 assists in nine games before being waived earlier this month. He is now unsigned, although a shot at redemption will probably come from somewhere this summer.


– The other Marcus Williams – Spurs draft pick and former Clipper swingman Marcus E. Williams – is in the D-League with the Austin Toros, and absolutely beasting. Williams averages 22.9 points, 6.8 rebounds, 5.1 assists, 1.8 steals and 0.6 blocks per game, and was named a D-League All-Star this season


Scott Williams is now doing a media career. Williams called games for the Cavaliers for two seasons, then spent last year as a pre- and post-game analyst for Bucks games, before leaving once again to join the Suns for this season as a colour announcer once again. Seemingly he’s doing a tour of all his former NBA teams, so maybe he’ll soon be replacing Stacey King.


– Georgian starlet Shammond Williams is playing for Pamesa Valencia, where I recently had the privilege of watching him play. In the first minute, he got a cut under his eye that required stitches, and he returned in the second half to throw the ball away repeatedly during crunch time. Good times. Nevertheless, other games have gone better, and on the season, Williams averages 13.4 points and 3.9 assists per game in EuroCup play, alongside 9.8 points and 3.7 assists in the Spanish league.


– Finally, Walt Williams’s NBA career dribbled to a stop in 2003, and he has disappeared off the radar since then. But we can rest assured that, no matter where is or what he’s doing, he’s still the man. He just is.

Posted by at 8:13 PM