Poor LeBron James. As if having Richard Jefferson and Channing Frye on his team wasn’t enough.
Now he has to deal with another Arizona Wildcat.
“It’s a crowd,” James said with a smile this weekend about the recent addition of Derrick Williams. “We have three Wildcats now and it’s getting out of hand.
“We already have to deal with those two, man … but, no, it’s great to have him. It’s great to have D-Will. It’s great that he has guys in here who went to the same university as him. He looked up to RJ when he was growing up, knowing what RJ did for U of A. He came after Channing, obviously.
“It’s just a good culture for us.”
Williams was released by the Miami Heat earlier this month, and then the NBA champion Cleveland Cavaliers signed him to a 10-day contract, although there is definitely potential for Williams to stick around longer than that — especially now that big man Kevin Love is out six weeks because of a knee injury.
The 6-foot-8 forward is averaging 9.5 points and 21 minutes in two appearances for the Cavs.
Williams, a sixth-year pro who was the No. 2 pick in the 2011 NBA Draft, has been a disappointment so far in his career, given the expectations. He has career averages of 9.1 points and 4.1 rebounds, spanning five teams.
But he has never been around a culture of winning in the NBA.
Williams has never been to the playoffs, never been on a winning team. In his previous five seasons, the teams he ended the season with posted a cumulative record of 146-248.
*2011-12: The team that drafted him, Minnesota, went 26-40 in a shortened season due to a lockout.
*2012-13: The Timberwolves were 31-51.
*2013-14: He was traded early in the season to Sacramento, which went 28-54.
*2014-15: Sacramento was 29-53.
*2015-16: He signed in the offseason with the New York Knicks, who went 32-50.
*2016-17: Miami had a losing record when it released Williams.
“I definitely had different opportunities after I left Miami. This was my first choice,” he said this weekend in a postgame interview.
“I wanted to be in a winning environment. I wanted to get back that feeling. I haven’t had that feeling since I’ve been in the NBA. It feels good, man. It feels like I’m back in college, and that’s what I want.”
Excited to be back out on the court .. it's only up from here. pic.twitter.com/6saPC6gVQl