Hot Rod Williams
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Hot Rod Williams
|Draft:||2nd round, 45th overall|
John "Hot Rod" Williams (born August 9, 1962 in Sorento, Louisiana) was signed as a free agent by the Dallas Mavericks on January 22, 1999.
Williams was named Louisiana's 4-A MVP coming out of high school. He elected to stay in-state and attended Tulane University in New Orleans where he still ranks as the school's fourth all-time leading scorer with 1,841 points. He's tied for sixth in Green Wave history with 809 rebounds and 18 double/doubles. Three times he was selected to the all-Metro Conference team and was the league's Player-of-the-Year in both 1983 and 1984.
Unfortunately his senior season was marred by allegations of point shaving and Williams was arrested and charged with sports bribery and conspiracy. While his first trial ended in a mistrial he was found not guilty by a jury in his second trial. Still the charges forced him to play his rookie season in the fledgling United States Basketball League.
He had been drafted by the Cleveland Cavaliers in the second round of the 1985 NBA draft and finally joined the team in 1986. The 6'11 forward averaged 14.6 points per game as a rookie and was named, along with teammates Ron Harper and Brad Daugherty, to the league's All-Rookie team.
Williams was the Cavs sixth man in 1989 when he posted the best numbers of his career averaging 16.8 ppg and 8.1 rebounds per game. He played a total of nine seasons in Cleveland, appearing in all 82 games in two seasons and averaging a double/double in all nine years. He still ranks first all-time in Cavs franchise history in blocked shots and offensive rebounds. He's also fifth all-time in points scored.
Cleveland traded Hot Rod to the Phoenix Suns for Dan Majerle, Antonio Lang and a 1997 number one draft choice. He played three seasons with the Suns and helped lead them to the postseason in all three of those years. Phoenix released Williams after the 1998 season and, although he saw no NBA action the first half of the following season, he signed with the Mavs in January of 1999.
Playing in 25 games, he averaged 1.2 ppg and 3.3 rpg over 25 games with his season high of six points coming on February 15 against Portland. He was traded after the season, along with Robert Pack and cash to Boston as part of a four team deal that ultimately brought Bill Curley and Howard Eisley to Dallas. Williams, however, never played for the Celtics.
The nickname "Hot Rod" was with Williams as an infant when he was known to crawl around making engine-like noises.