Williams apologized Thursday for comments he made during a Tuesday press conference comparing his team's midseason collapse to the devastating earthquake that struck Haiti earlier this year.
"In no way am I equating the tragedy in Haiti with basketball," Williams said in the statement. "I'm sorry that my statement at the press conference made it seem like I was comparing the two. The people of Haiti are suffering through unimaginably difficult times. I know very well that we are just playing a game."
Williams has been the target of widespread criticism since sharing the details of a conversation he had with North Carolina's massage therapist Tuesday when asked about his frustration over the Tar Heels' inability to emerge from their slump. After the massage therapist tried to cheer him up by pointing out a losing streak was nothing compared to what folks in Haiti have endured, Williams said he responded, "That depends on what chair you're sitting in. It does feel like a catastrophe to me, because it is my life."
In Thursday's statement, Williams said that the point he was trying to make by bringing up the conversation with the massage therapist came out more clearly in his weekly radio show the previous week.
"I said that does put basketball in perspective," Williams said. "However, Tuesday, at a press conference, I referenced her comment again but I neglected to say that."