Donell Williams was a training camp signing of the Clippers in 2007, who hasn’t played anywhere of note before or since.
A 6’3 guard, Williams spent his first two collegiate years at West Los Angeles Community College, before transferring to Fayetteville State for his final two years. He averaged 15.7 points and 6.0 rebounds in his senior year, 2004-05. D-Will then went back to school for the 2005-06 season to complete his degree, even though he wasn’t eligible to play for the basketball team. The following season, his basketball career finally started, with Williams now aged 26. Williams played in the 2006 JBL Pro-Am League, a largely unheard-of American minor league that takes place between April and May, in which he averaged 27 ppg, 16 rpg and 5 apg. It appears he then did not play for the next 16 months between May 2006 and October 2007. And then he was signed by the Clippers.
After not making the team, Williams went to the D-League, totalled 38 points and 21 rebounds in 18 games with the Bakersfield Jam in the D-League, and was waived in January 2008. He hasn’t played anywhere since.
Of all the random training camp signings we’ve had over the years, I think this one is the most random. Until the day that I’m hired as a General Manager, I will never understand how or why these signings happen. Where is the resumé? I mean, good for Williams for getting the gig; he got to live a dream and got paid for doing it, something we should all be envious of. He’s surely done something right. But the NBA isn’t an adult dreams factory. What was the Clippers reasoning? An extra man for practice, maybe….but why THAT one?
Eric Williams’s last bit of NBA news was when he was traded by the Spurs to the Bobcats at the 2007 trade deadline for Melvin Ely. The Bobcats kept Williams around for a while, but then waived him for Alan Anderson in March, and he did not play again after that. Williams now has a variety of business interests (see below), including real estate and a software company.
Eric Williams fact: Eric Williams’s ex-wife is currently a compelling protagonist on that TV show, Basketball Wives. I haven’t seen any of it and never will, but supposedly, it does neither of them any favours.
Another Eric Williams fact: Eric Williams owns (or owned) a clothing label thing cleverly called Eric Williams Apparel. A few years ago, EWA started stocking clothes celebrating the heritage of the Negro Basketball League, featuring its team logos and such. Unfortunately for Eric, the Negro Basketball League never existed.
Georgia guard Williams played in the D-League in 2008-09, averaging 10 points per game for the Austin Toros. However he has not played this season. Williams had microfracture knee surgery in the 2007 offseason, missed the whole subsequent season, and has seen his career stagnate since.
Former NBA first-round draft pick Frank Williams was also in the D-League in 2008-09, where he was busy reinventing himself as a three-point shooter. If you remember Frank’s backboard-defying jump shot from back in the day, you might question that as a career move, but it was necessitated. Frank’s speed and athleticism, the things which got him drafted that high, no longer exist like they once did. He cast up seven three-pointers a game last season and passed for 3.6 apg in 37 minutes; as such, he became a three-point shooting specialist that didn’t shoot threes very well (32%).
In the summer, Frank got arrested for possession, originally with intent to deliver. Frank was arrested along with his brother with 78 grams of marijuana and a digital scale in his flat, which looks pretty ominous, but the intent to deliver charge was avoided in a plea agreement. He spent this season in Argentina with Union de Sunchales, but averaged only 7.0 points and 1.2 assists before moving to another Argentinian team, Ciclista Olimpico de La Banda. There, he averaged 15.5 points and 3.5 assists per game, again shooting seven three-pointers a game, but hitting a better 37% of them this year.
Jay Williams played some pick-up ball in China in the summer, and had some offers for CBA teams. But he didn’t take them, opting to continue his college basketball TV work for ESPN. A longer breakdown of his post-accident life can be found here.
JYD is yet another player to have done a dollop of acting in his time. He appeared in two episodes of “Sue Thomas, F.B.Eye” in 2004, a show about a dead lipreading FBI agent, back when his basketball career was still in full flight. Here’s the titles to that seminal smash.
When not acting in cancelled Canadian detective serials, Williams works for his beloved Toronto Raptors as a community ambassador. He also runs his own broadband network, JYD TV, has a custom car shop, and appeared in the film “Harold & Kumar Visit White Castle”. Don’t know what role he played, but I’m not watching it to find out.
Ex-King Justin Williams has not played in two years. In the autumn of 2008, he had training camp contracts with the Warriors and the Bobcats, as well as tryouts in China and Turkey. However, he didn’t make the roster of any team, and nor has he played in the 18 months since.
Arizona forward Marcus E. Williams has mostly spent his career bouncing between the Spurs and their self-owned D-League affiliate, the Austin Toros. The Spurs drafted Williams high in the second round in 2007, and waived him out of training camp; however, this did not mean they were done with him. They brought him back for about a week around about Christmas time just to get him a few extra dollars – admittedly, they needed some wing depth at the time too – and they were closely monitoring Williams’s development in the D-League. It was at this time that Williams began his transition into more of a full-time playmaker, and he did so to pretty good effect, averaging 19.2 points, 6.9 rebounds and 3.1 assists in his first professional season.
Even though the Spurs were trying to effectively keep Williams stashed in their organisation, the L.A. Clippers interfered when they called up Williams for the last three weeks of the 2007-08 season. Williams played only 34 minutes for the Clippers; nevertheless, they extended a qualifying offer to him anyway, only to later retract it. Into the breach stepped the Bobcats, who signed Williams for 2008-09 preseason – however, they too let him go, and Williams was free to return to the Toros. In 45 games down there in the 2008-09 season, Williams’s new point guard-esque play took another step forward as he averaged 23.0 points, 7.0 rebounds, 5.3 assists, 1.7 steals and 0.6 blocks per game. The turnover numbers were high at 4.0 per game, but the 6’7 Williams was arguably the best player in the D-League that season.
Once again, Williams got called up to the NBA for the last two weeks of the season; this time, it was with the Spurs. They signed him for the last week of the year, in doing so paying him more than an entire season in the D-League had done, and also signed him through the 2009-10 season with a $25,000 guarantee. Williams lost out on a roster spot this past October to Malik Hairston (whom the Spurs have treated in a very similar way to Williams, as documented elsewhere), yet the $25,000 parachute payment reminded Williams of who loved him.
Rather than spending a third year in the D-League, Williams went to China and starred, averaging 26.1 points, 8.2 rebounds, 4.0 assists and 2.1 steals per game for the Zhejiang Wanma Cyclones, while also shooting 47% from three-point range. Upon the completion of the CBA season, Williams returned to the Toros for the completion of their season, averaging 24.3/5.4/4.8 over their last eight games. It was at this time that the Indiana Pacers decided to break their D-League cherry, and reportedly offered Williams a ten-day contract. Williams turned it down.
Sean Williams started the year with the Nets, fresh in the knowledge that they had declined his fourth-year team option. Unless he started to show something, and quickly, it looked like it might be the last season of his NBA career.
As it turns out, Sean didn’t even get that far. The Nets made a midseason trade to possibly open up more 2010 money when they traded Eduardo Najera’s contract to Dallas in exchange for Kris Humphries and Shawne Williams; with the team rocking a full roster of 15, someone had to be waived to accommodate Shawne Williams, and his namesake Sean was the one who bit the dust. (That must be a first in the NBA, surely. Waiving Sean Williams for Shawne Williams? Mind you, it could have happened twice, had Memphis waived Marcus D. Williams to open up a roster spot for Marcus E. Williams. There was no mention of such a thing ever possibly happening, but had Marcus E. been willing, perhaps it should have done. By the way, Shawne Williams didn’t even last a week.)
Now out of the NBA, Williams did what a lot of athletic ex-NBA big men do; he went to China. Playing for Fujian, Williams averaged 16.4 points, 11.1 rebounds and 4.2 blocks in 32 minutes per game, shooting 55% from the field and 64% from the line. He then did what most athletic ex-NBA big men in China do; he went to Puerto Rico. In two games for Guaynabo, Williams has totalled 20 points, 33 rebounds and 1 block.
Michael Jackson’s personal favourite, Shammond started the year on a short-term contract with Unicaja Malaga, averaging 6.2 points and 2.5 assists in ACB play for them. When that contract expired, he moved to fellow ACB team CB Murcia, to try and help out Milos Vujanic with his turnover problem. Williams averaged 12.1 points and 5.0 assists in eight games, but it wasn’t enough to prevent Murcia from coming last in the ACB, and he bailed at the start of May. Williams then hooked up with Montepaschi Siena for the rest of the season, providing them some depth and insurance should they need it; however, so far, they haven’t. Williams has received nothing but DNP-CD’s so far. The combination of Terrell McIntyre, Nikos Zisis, David Hawkins and Henry Domercant got them this far, and hasn’t needed to be changed.
I am continuously intrigued by the esoterica and minutiae of all the aspects of building a basketball team. I want to understand how to build the best basketball teams possible. No, I don’t know why, either.