Prior to Tuesday’s Game 5 between the Milwaukee Bucks and the Miami Heat, Rick Bonnell of the Charlotte Observer noted that veteran forward Marvin Williams could be taking the floor in his last NBA game.
This could potentially be Marvin Williams’ final NBA game. He told me in Paris he will consider retiring after this season.
— Rick Bonnell (@rick_bonnell) September 8, 2020
After all, the Bucks were facing elimination against the Heat and, without Giannis Antetokounmpo, Milwaukee was seen as the underdog to force a Game 6 against Miami. Despite a hard-fought showing, the Bucks fell short by a nine-point margin and, just minutes after the final buzzer sounded, Williams told Marc Spears of The Undefeated that he will indeed be retiring from the game after 15 seasons.
Bucks forward Marvin Williams told @TheUndefeated he is retiring from playing in the NBA after 15 seasons. “I’ve been very blessed. God has been very, very good to me,” Williams said.
— Marc J. Spears (@MarcJSpears) September 9, 2020
Williams, who was the No. 2 pick in the 2005 NBA Draft, was 10th among active players in games played before retiring, appearing in 1,072 regular season contests across a decade and a half. Though he did not develop into a superstar as some projected coming out of North Carolina, Williams made 828 starts in the NBA and appeared in 59 playoff games. The 6’8 forward suited up for the Atlanta Hawks, Charlotte Hornets, and Utah Jazz before finishing his career in Milwaukee, with Williams scoring nearly 11,000 points and pulling down more than 5,500 rebounds in his career.
In January, Williams told Bonnell that he wants to continue operating in the basketball world, but with “no interest in coaching.”
“I was in New York, but focused on the international basketball operations part of it,” Williams said. “I like the Junior NBA (program) where you are basically a camp counselor all around the world. Basketball Without Borders (the league’s global summer outreach), I’ve done a couple of those: I went to Africa and I went to Indonesia.
“Any opportunity I get to travel and work with kids? That’s what I would love to do.”
Though Williams is perhaps best known for being drafted ahead of both Chris Paul and Deron Williams in 2005, he carved out an impressive career, outperforming the average expectation for even the No. 2 overall pick. It remains to be seen what his next step will be, but a 15-year career is nothing to sneeze at, and Williams is exceptionally well-regarded in and around the game.