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Jason Williams, also known as ‘White Chocolate,’ is one of the best passers in NBA history. Although the former No. 7 draft pick and NBA champion’s greatness may hold the same clout as, say, Chris Paul, Magic Johnson or Oscar Robertson, it cannot be understated.
From 1998 to 2007, few players were as smooth as Williams. Especially in the early portion of his career.
The former Marshall and Florida guard was named to the All-Rookie First Team after dropping 12.8 points, 3.1 rebounds and six assists per game. Williams’ production stayed more or less the same through his first eight years before declining in the latter half of his time in the league.
During that eight-year stretch, though, White Chocolate was a lot of fun to watch. His ability to contort his body in unusual ways and find the open man with a slick dish was uncanny.
Although many of Williams’ passes were show-stopping, even his most simple of assists set up his scorers for success in a way that nobody else could. When he got his shooter the ball, the shooter was probably going to drain the shot.
There is a reason for that and Jason Williams prides himself on it.
The 47-year-old, who retired in 2011, always got his teammates the ball with the lines parallel to the ground. It allowed the shooters to already have their hands in position and get the shot up right away, instead of shuffling to get the ball in the right position.
Williams recently explained the difference to Courtside Club Podcast host Rachel Demita, who he likened to J.J. Reddick. White Chocolate took/takes the shuffling out of the equation.
When Demita asked whether Williams was ever criticized for passing too much, he explained that it was the only way for him to get picked during sessions at the gym or on the blacktop. The love for passing and prowess evolved from there!
The new generation of hoopers didn’t grow up watching Williams. They may not even know who he is.
That’s unfortunate, because nobody in NBA history is a better pure passer than White Chocolate, even if the numbers say otherwise. Sometimes you just have to look at a player and recognize that dawg in him. Williams has that dawg in him!