Editor's Note: I wrote this post mentally and buried it, but Simmons' opus on Sactown forced me to unearth this. Transparency is the writer's best/worst friend.
My mother never let me listen to rap. And I hated him for it.
Our family was sober in every sense of the word. My Dad force-fed me cod liver oil teaspoons before I left his hugs for elementary school. Our car radio was preset to Family Radio. I got the "birds and bees" talk from my Dad as he was cutting my hair...at age 14. The ban wasn't necessarily all bad, but it did compel me to consume mass quantities of rap as a college freshman.
So, I was jealous of Jason Williams. I just felt like this guy - with "WHITEBOY" tattooed on his knuckles and a pull-up 3 akin to Tim Hardaway - may be (gasp!) more black than I was. Which, of course, is stupid in retrospect. The moves don't make the man. And I've been stalked down in bodegas and gas station shoppes more times than I'd care to admit. (Eminem, step aside.)
I watched J-Will toss those bobs to Webber, who'd always flush them down with a screw face (followed by that iconic Webber grin, which was hard to conceal). I remember him breaking stride on 3-on-1 fast breaks and pulling up for off-balance 3's in an effort to satisfy his insatiable lust for nylon. His penchant for sensationalism drove Kings brass insane, for they soon deported J-Will to Canada for the orthodox Mike Bibby. A white man for a light man, as they say.
It was weird that no one - save this erudite gentleman - saw fit to honor Jason Williams with a proper farewell. YouTube is his middle name, and has given J-Will a fitting career renaissance. And Mike Bibby hasn't stopped following Williams around either, now shadowing J-Will's legacy with his aged girth, thirsty for the ring J-Williams earned on the Wade-Shaq Heat team.
He retired quietly, and it was "reported" by NBATV's lower-third graphic. What? Let's give honor where honor's due, and thank Jason Williams for making the NBA a little more risky, a little more exciting, and a little more enjoyable than it was before the purple #55.
- MB, II