Derrick Williams does not stick the landing. (Rocky Widner/NBAE/Getty Images)
With just over three minutes remaining in the fourth quarter and the Sacramento Kings cruising home to a 29-point blowout victory over Tom Thibodeau's Chicago Bulls, reserve Sacramento forward Derrick Williams made a heady defensive play, stepping into the passing lane to intercept a cross-court pass by Bulls point guard D.J. Augustin intended for Chicago rookie Erik Murphy. After securing the steal, Williams surged upcourt, knowing he had no one to beat, and nothing between himself and the basket but opportunity.
The crowd rose to its feet, expecting fireworks from the No. 2 overall pick in the 2011 NBA draft. What they got, however, was the sort of dud that can bum out a whole Fourth of July block party.
On one hand, yes, an off-the-backboard-to-yourself dunk would have been pretty cool, Derrick. On the other, though, when you throw the lob too high, can't control it and wind up coming down with a crazy handful of nothing that the opposing team rebounds, you've gone past ill-advised showboating and into something approaching Wiz-era JaVale territory.
It's bad news, and it's the sort of thing that's born out of not having a plan, according to Jason Jones of the Sacramento Bee:
“I didn’t know what I wanted to do,” Williams said of the kind of dunk he was attempting.
It ended badly. [...]
Kings coach Michael Malone was not amused and removed Williams from the game.
“Derrick’s a good kid so there’s nothing malicious in that but I don’t want to disrespect the Bulls,” Malone said. “I don’t want to disrespect [Bulls coach] Tom Thibodeau, I have too much respect for him. At that point in the game when you’re up big, just lay the ball in. Derrick wasn’t trying to showboat or disrespect anybody but I told our guys, be good to the game.”
Williams’ teammates were amused.
“The hardest part was trying to find something to say to him after making that play,” said DeMarcus Cousins. “I don’t know. You’re going to have to ask D-Will about that.”
Or, better yet, D-Will's mom.
You know it's bad when your mom text you "what was that!?" Lmao great team win tho #ShaqtinAFool
— Derrick Williams (@RealDwill7) February 4, 2014
It was a great team win — while Chicago's offense isn't exactly all-world-caliber, the Kings held the Bulls to just 28.2 percent shooting, the lowest percentage by a Kings opponent since the team moved to Sacramento for the 1985-86 season, according to The Associated Press. It was also a decent pretty individual night for Williams, who has performed all right as a backup three for Malone since coming over from the Minnesota Timberwolves earlier this season and who grabbed nine rebounds in 24 1/2 minutes of playing time to help the Kings batter Chicago on the boards to the tune of a 53-30 rebounding advantage. It wasn't exactly the ending the third-year pro was looking for, though — the sort of unstuck landing that makes you wonder if it's really true that any press is good press.
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- Sports & Recreation
- Derrick Williams
- Sacramento Kings
- Chicago Bulls
- Tom Thibodeau