And you thought I forgot about it huh? November 18th is a national holiday in my household. Back in the day, it would mean playing The Diplomats “Who I Am” on repeat, spinning a ball on my fingertips while reading Tom Friend’s ESPN features on the man who tattooed WHIT EBOY on his fingers.
The retired Jason Williams turned 36 years old today, and if the end of an era wasn’t already dying, it’s officially gone now. Being retired assures us of that.
I’ve written at length about #55 many times before, almost too many times. So that was out of the question. There’s nothing else to say that hasn’t already been written. What better way to celebrate the birthday of J-Will than by celebrating his genius with highlight tape after highlight tape? That’s what he was put on this earth for anyways, right?
Here are the top five YouTube mixes from Mr. Williams:
5. Jason Williams In His Rookie Year
Depending on how you view it, the background info at the start of the tape is either perfect or boring. But once we jump past that and into the white, purple and black, it picks up. Name me one other NBA player who could put together a tape this good where the highlights are pulled almost exclusively from one 50-game stretch? Anyone who has full-game tapes of that season knows Williams was pulling out two or three moves a game that were blowing people’s minds.
4. Jason Williams & Weirdly-Fitting Music
You can either embrace the music (“Wicked And Weird”) for its funkiness, or completely ignore it because the artist (Buck 65) seemed way off his rocker. Either way, there are some rare clips in here and a nice mix of jumpers, passes and drives.
3. Jason Williams & The Beastie Boys
It’s not because they’re white. But somehow the Beastie Boys mix well with Jay. This video gets extra points because it showcases Williams when his swagger was at its zenith. It’s not always about the best highlights. Sometimes you just have to watch him running full speed, throwing the ball out in front of him, arms flailing and blowing smoke out of his mouth to really appreciate him.
2. Jason Williams & Eminem
Most people will remember Williams’ finest moment as his rookie season. It came before the problems, before the benchings and the failed promise. But he was at his absolute craziest in his second season. Rick Adelman and Sacramento hadn’t reined him in yet. He was living off adrenaline from the first year, and hadn’t done anything but up the ante on the “wild” meter since that first season. This wasn’t close to his best season. But it might’ve been his craziest… and this video is filled with sophomore J-Will (as well as a bunch from his third year).
1. Jason Williams & Guns N’ Roses
Numero uno. The top spot. The champ. The ringleader. The beast. The capper. This is everything I’d envision out of a Jason Williams highlight tape: fast, unwavering and abusive. The part in “Welcome To The Jungle” when they’re yelling na, na, na, na, na, na… I can totally see Williams making a great play and then rushing up the sideline screaming that at the crowd. These highlights aren’t too bad either. The final few seconds is also the only way we could conclude this list.
Which one do you think is the best?
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