(I know, I know — it's an old photo with Terrence Williams(notes) wearing his old number, which he changed from 8 to 1 before his sophomore season. But sometimes an old photo is also the perfect photo.)
In between, the former Louisville standout got busted down to the D-League as a punishment for persistent tardiness, averaged a triple-double during a three-game stint in Massachusetts for the D-League's Springfield Armor, then promptly came back to the big show (well, as big a show as you can consider Avery Johnson's 6-18 squad).
"There definitely was an awakening," [Williams] said of his three-game experience in the D-League. "It woke me up a lot. I'm not going to sit here and give you the typical answers — everybody that goes to the D-League and comes back says, 'Yeah, I understood my lesson.' When I say I understood my lesson, I truly mean that, in the most sincere way, that I really understood going down there and it definitely woke me up, and hopefully helps my career in the long run."
The key elements that drove the lesson home, according to Williams? His mother crying after hearing the news and asking him if he'd been kicked out of the NBA — and some words of wisdom from an Armor ball boy.
Out of the mouths of babes:
"One of the ball boys there was 12 years old," Williams recalled. "[When] I started the first game, I was like, 'Do you watch the NBA?' He said, 'Yeah, you're one of the players I [like to] watch. Why would you blow it?' I was like, 'What are you talking about?' He said, 'Why would you want to have an attitude, and be late — the simplest things you can control? And you get to be in the NBA? I would die to do that, so don't blow it.'"
Hit the jump for more on T-Will's youth-administered wake-up call, including a video interview with the Armor's ball boy/motivational speaker.