NBA: Jason Williams says Shaq his best big man teammate, ‘super proud’ of Sacramento Kings
MANILA, Philippines —Throughout his 13-year NBA career, Jason Williams teamed up with some of the best big men in league history.
Williams, who was the seventh overall pick by the Sacramento Kings in 1998, played for four franchises and had the luxury of playing with the likes of Shaquille O’Neal, Dwight Howard and Gasol brothers Pau and Marc to name afew.
But among the centers he was able to be on the same side with, Williams said O’Neal was the best one.
“That’s a tough question because as you said, I’ve teamed up with some good ones. I mean, Shaquille O’Neal is the probably most dominant player to me and we won a championship together,” said Williams during his media availability and meet and greet on Friday at NBA Store Philippines in Mandaluyong City.
Williams was a key part of the Miami Heat team that won the championship in 2006 led by Dwyane Wade and O’Neal.
The 47-year-old Williams, fondly known as “White Chocolate,” retired in 2011 with career averages of 10.5 points, 2.3 rebounds. 5.9 assists and 1.2 steals.
A lot has changed since he called it quits and among those is the evolution of centers.
Unlike before when big men live and dominate the paint, most centers today like reigning MVP Nikola Jokic of the Denver Nuggets are more versatile on the offensive end.
“Those guys are good, too. If you can’t shoot today, today you can’t really play. But those guys can shoot, they can pass, they are really good,” Williams said of Jokic and Sacramento Kings’ Domantas Sabonis.
Jokic is averaging a near triple-double with 24.8 points, 11.9 rebounds, and 9.9 assists in 65 games to lead the top-seeded Nuggets in the Western Conference.
In his first season in Sacramento, Sabonis has been brilliant all-around as well averaging 19.0 points, 12.5 rebounds, and 7.3 assists in 70 games as the Kings close in on their first playoff appearance since 2006 with a 43-29 record for third in the West.
Williams, who played for Sacramento from 1998 to 2001, was glad to see his former team find success after piling up one losing season after another.
“[I’m] super proud. That’s great for the city of Sacramento and the organization. Great for the coach (Mike Brown) as well,” he said. “I think they got a pretty good team this year they got a couple of good players, a couple of all-stars, and more importantly they got a good coach.”
Williams is in town for the return of NBA 3X Philippines over the weekend at Mall of Asia.