In a midseason trade with the New Jersey Nets, the Houston Rockets acquired Terrence Williams, a talented but troubled wing man who had flashed immense potential in his NBA career but had terrorized coaches with his antics.
After being relegated to the bench by no-nonsense coach Rick Adelman, Williams appeared frustrated all season, but now has a second chance with new coach Kevin McHale. With a spot in the rotation for his taking, can Terrence Williams make a big contribution for the Rockets in the 2011-12 season?
Though he only appeared 11 games for the Rockets after the trade, Williams showed off a variety of skills that make him tremendously intriguing going into next season. Though he dominated the ball at times, he passed well, attacked the rim at will against NBA defenders and even played solid defense. With his pairing of length (6'6" frame and 6'9" wingspan) and athletic ability, there is no doubt that he has the body to be a top-notch wing man in the NBA.
However, as is the case with countless NBA flame outs, Williams' problems have never been about talent. From his Twitter feed to various interviews, Williams has appeared to feel entitled and seems to lack any motivations other than personal glory. Recently, he's started a video series titled "Poor Hungry Driven" in order to show his fans how much he cares, but the same personality comes across in these videos.
Here's an excerpt from the first video:
I'm poor, not meaning not able to afford things, because you know I'm fortunate to be able to afford things, but poor in the sense of I'm not able to say 'I can retire tomorrow.'
Huh, Terrence? You're not poor in terms of not being "able to afford things" but you're poor because you can't retire tomorrow and live off your NBA income? This is just one of many examples of Terrence Williams being completely unaware of both himself and the world around him. In an attempt to make himself seem more real to his fans, he says he is poor because he can't retire tomorrow at the age of 24.
This poor awareness extends to the basketball court. When Williams is playing badly, he continues to demand the ball and attack the rim, believing that he is bulletproof when these unwarranted shots are typically just wasted possessions. Then, when interviewed about his potential, he often seems to think that all that separates him from an All-Star campaign is playing time.
Though he is right to know he is an exceptional talent and has potential for an All-Star year, his psyche stands in his way. Hopefully, with a new coach and a fresh start, Williams can turn it around. However, given the number of knuckleheads who were bounced out of the league after three or four frustrating seasons, it would be tough to bet on him. Rockets fans can only hope.