Jason Williams is a name that most basketball fans around the world would recognize as one of the premier highlight reel-making point guards of his era thanks to his streetball-inspired passing game that made him a household name.
Despite being a key cog in the Miami Heat’s championship run in the 2006 NBA Finals which gave him his first and only title, fans remember him more for the elbow pass he did in the 2000 Rising Stars Game to Raef LaFrentz.
Williams has been relatively quiet since his playing years have passed, but it does not mean that he is done sharing basketball knowledge whenever possible.
As part of NBA 3X’s return to the Philippines, Williams and members of the Houston Rockets’ Clutch City Dancers made an appearance at the SM Mall of Asia Music Hall in Pasay City where the playoffs and finals were held this past weekend.
During a break in the action, the International Business Times was able to ask him about the difference of good passers, willing passers and where they are in the NBA today.
“I don’t think there are too many willing passers in the NBA today. A lot of these guys are looking to shoot which is a good thing for us fans. There’s really a difference between a willing passer and a good passer. Team basketball is where it’s at,” Williams said.
“It’s hard to win at this game when you’re being an individual out there.”
In a February 2017 episode of Inside the NBA, Williams was asked by longtime friend Shaquille O’Neal about which players resembled him in today’s game, to which he responded with the following.
“A lot of these players today, I think, get it mixed up because they say they’re a good passer, but I think there’s a difference between being a good passer and a willing passer. I was more of a willing passer,” he said at the time.
To hear him remain true to the statements that he made in 2017 is an interesting take on the matter since the NBA has been graced by a ton of players whom many fans would deem to be great passers.
Names such as Stephen Curry, Damian Lillard and James Harden all rack up numbers in the assists department, but few would ever consider them as traditional point guards in the vein of Williams.
During his playing years, the concept of a combo guard was still just starting to gain popularity as names such as Allen Iverson, Monta Ellis and Jason Terry led to the development of the position in the mid-00s.
Now, almost every point guard in the league is considered a combo guard thanks to their shoot-first mentality, but there are still a few who look to give their teammates easier scoring opportunities.
Chris Paul and Ricky Rubio are names that fans would point to being true guards, but they are definitely the last of a dying breed.
With the many scorers in the modern NBA, it would not be a surprise if pass-first players become a valued commodity once again due to a coach’s need for players who thrive on getting their teammates involved.
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