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May 19, 2011

On Williams' self-indulgence

Arizona forward Derrick Williams sure does like himself.

          There’s nothing wrong with self-confidence. I’ve never met a successful NBA player who lacks for it. In fact, Charlotte Bobcats point guard D.J. Augustin’s biggest problem was his lack of that quality.

          But there’s a distinct difference between self-confidence and arrogance. Williams was preening Thursday at the NBA Draft Combine, sounding like the beauty queen so in love with her own looks that her favorite possession is the mirror.

Michael Jordan had a big ego. Magic Johnson had a big ego. Larry Bird had a huge ego. None of those three would have acted the way Williams did around the media Thursday, particularly before they were drafted.

          Williams sounds resentful that the consensus says Duke point guard Kyrie Irving should be the No. 1 pick. He seems to think it’s his birthright to be the top pick, and anything short of that is a rip-off. It’s never good when you come off like a pro wrestler demanding a steel-cage match.

          This is going to bother teams with high picks (and, in the end, does it really matter whether you're the first or second pick?) More importantly, it’s going to get Williams’ butt kicked somewhere down the line. I’ve seen how this works in the NBA.

The gentlest resolution will be Williams getting dressed down by some veteran teammate. Somebody will make fun of his clothes, Williams will get all snippy, and he’ll be humiliated by his elders. It will be classic hazing.

Or it will be something uglier. Did you see the way Andrew Bynum slammed J.J. Barea in that playoff game? Bynum has nothing personal against Barea, he was just sick of the Mavs beating up on the Lakers.

If Williams keeps telling everyone how wonderful he is, somebody is going to target him. And that opponent won’t be subtle.

Posted by Observer Sports on May 19, 2011 at 10:50 PM | Permalink


Sounds alot like another #1 pick this year...

Posted by: MJW | May 20, 2011 7:36:29 AM

If he's targeted that's his problem and the person who targets him. His for the pain and the targeter for the fine he will assess. Cocky and arrogant vs lacking self confidence and hyper sensitive, neither set of words seem to belong in the world of sports. You will find more cocky and arrogant than the latter. Maybe Williams just wanted some media attention in his quest to become relevant. He got it and will continue to because each and everytime he falls short of his declaration this will be pointed out to us, even at his retirement. Probably in his eulogy as well.

Posted by: digal704 | May 20, 2011 8:02:04 AM

Not sure I agree with your "one or two, what does it matter" line. It matters in negotiations. It matters in pay. It matters in the history books. It matters a lot. That said, Williams is and will be the #1 pick. Kyrie is not ready for the NBA.

Posted by: D Merritt | May 20, 2011 8:53:05 AM

You'd have to have known that Derrick was alive prior to playing Duke to know the kid's true character. I understand a lot of ACC/Big East types are just learning about him, but Derrick has been a very humble kid for his entire career at Arizona, and a fantastic teammate, even as his stock soared. He was a coaches dream willing to take instruction, deflect praise to his teammates, and generally just be another one of the guys while clearly being alpha dog on the court. First impressions do stick, but perhaps this shouldn't have been this writer's first impression...perhaps someone writing about the game in the "hotbead of college basketball" should have a more substantial knowledge of the game's major players, and then he would have made the correct assertion that this was out of character for this young man.

Posted by: Dee | May 20, 2011 4:24:26 PM

Interesting report from someone who clearly did not cover Derrick Williams and probably did not even hear much about him during this past season. Derrick Williams is far from arrogant and based on the quality (or lack thereof) of players in this draft, he has every reason to believe he should be the #1 pick. Even over an injury-prone Kyrie Irving who most of you probably look up to like God over there in Charlotte despite his lack of a college career. If you're still resentful of how he humbled one of your so-called powerhouses of a program back in March, give it a break and attempt to learn more about him before berating him again for a few comments he made to reporters at the Combine.

Posted by: ERK | May 20, 2011 7:42:46 PM

Williams deserves it more than irving anyways. Potential is what got the nba losing money. Williams has the better resume. Does the nba even know what a resume looks like?

Posted by: charlottean | May 24, 2011 9:43:06 PM

oh hell bonnell doing his impression of "donotwant" again.

derrick is a good character guy, it's funny how a writer can base his judegement on a player in just one situation in life. get a grip rick.

Posted by: jumpinjehosophat | Jun 2, 2011 7:02:54 PM

You lack journalistic integrity to come up with this garbage. You obviously have not done your homework and researched anything about Derrick Williams. His coaches and teammates speak very highly of his character and work ethic. Just because a guy says he thinks he should be the #1 pick doesn't mean he is arrogant (and you can make a strong case he is the #1 pick). He even complimented Irving and called him a great player. To come up with this article is completely irresponsible and insulting to Derrick Williams.

Posted by: Hans Groober | Jun 6, 2011 2:32:25 PM

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