Jason Williams reflects on enduring Miami Heat champion culture

Jason Williams wowed NBA fans with his dazzling passes but the highlight of his career was winning championships while playing in Miami’s winning culture.

Jason Williams, aka White Chocolate, is one of the most memorable players of his era. Basketball fans remember Williams bursting as a draw with Sacramento in 1999 throwing some of the most innovative Harlem-Globetrotter-level passes the game had ever seen.

The Kings entertained for three of Williams’ seasons in Sacramento but never made it past the second round of the knockout stages before he was split Vancouver (Memphis) to Mike Bibby in a four-man deal. The Grizzlies won 50 and 45 games with Williams but never won in the playoff series with Jerry West as General Manager and Hubie Brown coaching the team.

“Hubie Brown is one of the top three coaches, probably the top two I’ve played for,” Williams told FanSided. “When he took the job and we had our first team meeting, he made three rules as an NBA team. His three rules are knowing when to shoot, knowing when to pass and the right time. If those three things are done, everything goes well for Hubie Brown. Hubie Brown was the greatest, I love Hubie Brown to this day. ”

The highlight of William’s NBA career came in his seventh season in the league when he won the championship alongside Dwyane Wade and Shaquille O’Neal in Miami. Williams was acquired along with Antione Walker and James Posey in one of the more complex deals in NBA history, with five teams and 13 players involved.

Everything changed for Jason Williams when he joined the Miami Heat

Williams ended up becoming the third-highest scorer on the Heat (12.3 points per game) while scoring a career-best 37% between 3 and 44 from the field.

“That championship means something to me,” Williams said. “People say I will never get one, opinions are like sadists [everyone has one]. It’s something that can never be taken away from me.”

The championship culture in Miami began to grow when Pat Riley became head coach in 1995. The late-90s temperatures drew near but clashed with Michael Jordan a few times, including in the Domain Conference Finals. East 1997.

Riley made himself the team president in 2003 when he hired Stan Van Gundy to coach the team. Riley’s first big move was to trade for Shaquille O’Neal, who happened to be neighbors in Orlando with Williams.

“He (O’Neal) came and asked if I wanted to play with him at MIami and I said ‘definitely’ there would be no doubt about it,” Williams said. and called Pat Riley right away and gave me the phone and I was like uhhh sure I’m going to play in Miami are you kidding me?! I didn’t really think that would happen but when he She gave me the phone and Pat Riley was on the other end, I almost knew it was a done deal.”

Williams thought he would play for Stan Van Gundy, but Van Gundy abruptly resigned in early December, leaving Pat Riley on the bench earlier in the season. Riley hasn’t always been popular with the players because of his senseless demanding ways, but it’s certainly true who is to blame and what the consequences will be if you don’t follow the Heat culture rules.

“The best thing about the Heat organization is that you don’t have to meet that guy (Pat Riley) because everyone’s underneath him, you have to respect them too,” Williams said. “If something happens that you need to go to Pat’s office, it’s too late. With that organization, their culture when you walk in, when you sign with that thermal organization, you know their culture so you won’t be lost. That organization is one of the best, if not the best, that I have ever been a part of.”

Williams, who was kicked out of his Florida college team, swapped out from Sacramento on less than perfect conditions, became a true pro in Memphis and then topped with a title in Miami. . His journey is related to the current Heat with Jimmy Butler still looking for his first championship and confronting Heat culture. Udonis Haslem threatened to kick Butler’s a**. Butler may not have faced a similar setback in Chicago and or Philadelphia.

Miami is different that way. Williams was a big part of it as the Heat held up their first banner, a winning culture that continues to this day.

Jason Williams collaborated with POWERADE . Program help launch to help college athletes reset their clocks called “Pause is power.” Jason Williams reflects on enduring Miami Heat champion culture

John Verrall

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