Former Cleveland Cavaliers standout sixth man John ‘Hot Rod’ Williams dies at 53

 

John “Hot Rod” Williams, one of several NBA’s very best sixth guys in the 1980s and ’90s, has died of cancer at his house close to Sorrento, Louisiana. He was 53.

Williams’ agent Mark Bartelstein confirmed his death Friday.

Williams, a 6-11 energy forward, played 13 seasons inside the NBA (go to nba 2k16 mt for sale) but was best recognized for being a standout using the Cleveland Cavaliers from 1986 to 1995.

“The whole Cavaliers family members is deeply saddened together with the news of John “Hot Rod” Williams’ passing,” a statement in the Cavaliers study. “Hot Rod was, 1st and foremost, a fantastic teammate, as well as the type of dependable person and player that made the Cavaliers organization proud for the duration of his virtually decade-long time with the team. Hot Rod was the guy that willingly and pridefully drew the toughest defensive assignment. He was the sort of talented, unselfish and versatile player and particular person that earned the respect of every person about him, including his teammates and opponents, and those who knew and worked with him off the court at the same time. In numerous respects, he was the humble embodiment and unsung hero of one of several most memorable and effective eras of Cavaliers basketball.

“Hot Rod will be greatly missed and our thoughts and prayers are with his household.”

The news stunned former teammates and executives who had been encouraged when Williams came by means of an earlier cancer diagnosis this year.

“It’s devastating,” mentioned Wayne Embry, the Cavs’ common manager from 1986 to 1999. “He was a really hard worker in addition to a excellent player, but I liked him much more as an individual than a basketball player.”

“Hot Rod was a great, caring and unselfish teammate,” mentioned Danny Ferry, who was a teammate for six seasons. “He was a team-first guy. He was also a beneficial, intelligent and pretty underrated player. He could defend any individual. We had been all fortunate to have him as a teammate (click here to buy NBA 2k16 MT) and pal.”

Williams was known for two seminal moments in his life that had wide-ranging implications on the planet of basketball. In 1985 he was arrested and charged with 5 counts related to a point-shaving scandal at Tulane University that sooner or later forced the school to disband the system for 3 years.

He went through two trials. The very first was declared a mistrial due to the fact the prosecution did not turn over evidence. He was acquitted within the second trail despite many teammates who had reduce plea bargains testifying against him. He was facing 17 years in prison had he been convicted.

Then-Cavs owner Gordon Gund, who drafted him in the second round in 1985, could not sign him to a contract during the legal course of action but paid his legal bills as Williams spent a year playing in the Usa Basketball League, earning $15,000.

He turned into a force for the Cavs, acting as a backup to All-Stars Brad Daugherty and Larry Nance as the group place together a string of playoff seasons. Inside the 1989-90 season, he averaged 16.eight points and eight.1 rebounds as a reserve.

“As a player, Hot Rod was certainly one of those freak of nature guys who was 6-10, who could shoot the basketball, could place the basketball down on the floor, a very excellent defensive guy,” former teammate Ron Harper stated. “He commanded many respect around the basketball court. He had plenty of game. We utilized to normally tease him for the reason that we constantly mentioned, ‘He’s going the exact same way. He’s going proper all of the time.’ He went appropriate each of the time and also you could sit on that proper hand of his and he’s nonetheless going proper. He was going proper. He did not care what you did, he was going suitable all of the time.”

After the 1989-90 season Williams signed what is nonetheless regarded as one of several landmark contracts in NBA history. The Miami Heat signed him to a seven-year, $26.five million supply sheet. The front-loaded deal was to spend him $5 million in his initial season, producing him the highest-paid player in NBA history and paying twice the salary of Michael Jordan. It was a league-shattering number for any non-All-Star, significantly much less a nonstarter.

While the Cavs had two weeks to match, Williams uttered a quote that would come to be famous: “Right now, I am a Heat.”

“When we produced the decision (come to nbamtcoin) to match I went to him and mentioned “Hot Rod, you happen to be not a Heat; we’re matching’,” Embry said. “It was an exciting moment.”

“We utilized to possess this bet in between me, Hot Rod and Larry as to who would lead the group in blocks by the All-Star break,” Daugherty remembered. “The year following he signed I consider I was major just after 15 games and oh was I speaking trash. I stated, ‘We’re paying you $30 million and also you have much less blocks than me? I cannot even jump.’ Well, inside about 5 days he passed me for fantastic.”

Williams was a a part of three Cavs teams that won 50-plus games but all 3 lost to Jordan and also the Bulls in the playoffs.

“It saddens me to find out him go at such a young age. He was a good person,” Daugherty mentioned. “A great deal of players come from humble beginnings, but exactly where he came from was pretty humble. I was proud of him for what he accomplished.”

 

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