Jason Williams Released and I Don’t Know How to Handle it
The Jason Williams era in Orlando has officially ended. As much as I knew this moment was coming, I always tried to pretend it wasn’t. I made excuses for Jason and created scenarios in my head to justify his actions. Abandoned the team? Please please please let him have a sick child! It wasn’t the case. In the end, it was much of the same story as it has always been for Jason. A West Virginia country boy who didn’t like anyone telling him what to do.
At the University of Florida, I couldn’t stand him. As a vocal Gator-hater, it just wasn’t in my power to root for him. The thing is though, I WANTED to. He was flashy. He had substance. He looked like me and played the game the way I liked to play. Once he was drafted to Sacramento I slowly allowed myself to cheer for him. As he kept making sick play after sick play, I was hooked as a fan for life. While Skip to My Lou was still crossing folks over at Rucker, your favorite Whit Eboy’s favorite Whit Eboy was killing dude’s in the NBA.
On August 9th, 2009, J-Will signed with the Magic. I knew he obviously wasn’t the same player he once was, but it was still exciting. He proved he still had game and at the age of 34 he was a key part of the team as Jameer Nelson’s backup. He even played in every game of the season, the first time in his career that he had accomplished that feat. However, he was just a shell of his former self and it was no secret that the Magic needed to upgrade at that position if they were going to improve their roster.
During the summer of 2010, the Magic signed Chris Duhon to be their #2 PG behind Jameer Nelson. J-Will flirted around with the Miami Heat, but ultimately decided to return to Orlando KNOWING he would be the 3rd pg behind Nelson and Duhon. He played sparingly before the Gilbert Arenas trade and struggled with his arthritic feet, but was still in the plans. After the big trades, Jason was bumped to the 4th pg spot and virtually all hope of meaningful playing time disappeared.
This is where things went sour. 3rd pg? OK. 4th pg? NO WAY. Come on Jason… I know you have some game left in the tank, but didn’t you want to be part of something special? The Bench Mobb needed you. When you were actually with the team, you at least cheered them on and participated. Your c-walk’s during the Bench Mobb’s pre game “show” were impressive and it showed you still cared. On the surface at least. I know you can still help a team somewhere, but it’s not going to be a championship contender. Do you really think the NBA grind in Toronto or Cleveland will be more fun? At 35 is the playing time that important?
Well, today you got your wish and have been officially released. I know it’s not the end of your career, but their isn’t much left. Here’s to hoping that you can get a few more crossovers in and have a few more commentators awkwardly call you “white chocolate”. At the same time I say EFF YOU, I also wish you good luck. Say good night to the Jason Williams Magic era, the best 98 games that you will never remember.