John Williams (basketball, born 1966)
|Born||October 26, 1966|
Los Angeles, California
|Listed height||6 ft 8 in (2.03 m)|
|Listed weight||235 lb (107 kg)|
|High school||Crenshaw (Los Angeles, California)|
|NBA draft||1986 / Round: 1 / Pick: 12th overall|
|Selected by the Washington Bullets|
|Position||Power forward / Center|
|Number||34, 24, 66|
|1992–1994||Los Angeles Clippers|
|Career highlights and awards|
|Career NBA statistics|
|Points||4,406 (10.1 ppg)|
|Rebounds||2,201 (5.1 rpg)|
|Assists||1,262 (2.9 apg)|
|Stats at NBA.com|
|Stats at Basketball-Reference.com|
His girth earned him the nickname "Hot Plate" Williams, in part to help distinguish him from John "Hot Rod" Williams of the Cleveland Cavaliers who likewise played college basketball in Louisiana (at Tulane University) and who also entered the NBA in 1986. Despite his size, in which he ballooned to close to 260 pounds by the time he was drafted, Williams was a highly skilled basketball player. He was in particular an exceptionally good passer, and averaged over 4 assists per game in 3 separate seasons, an excellent average for a player his size. He was frequently used as a point forward, handling the ball and conducting the offense.
As a rookie, Williams averaged just under ten points and five rebounds per game for the Bullets. He improved significantly his second season, and started 37 of 82 games. The 1988–89 NBA season, his third, was clearly his best, as he achieved career-high season totals in almost every statistical category, despite coming off the bench in all but one game.
Williams' productivity declined in the five injury-plagued seasons that followed. He missed more than half of four of those five seasons due to various injuries, which, though not necessarily caused by his weight, were certainly aggravated by it. His eight-year NBA career included five seasons with the Bullets, two with the Los Angeles Clippers, and one (his final season) with the Indiana Pacers. He left the NBA in 1995, but went on to play 132 games over 6 seasons in the Spanish Liga ACB, averaging 15.6 points and 7.3 rebounds.
Weight issues and player profile
Williams' eating problems and weight issues were as a result of stress and depression. By the time he entered the draft, he lost his grandmother, two childhood friends, while supporting his mother, grandfather and children from previous marriages. His weight issues got so bad that Bullets and Clippers put him on weight reduction programs, and suspended him with no pay.
By the time he played for the Pacers, his offensive skills and court vision had not diminished, but his vertical leap and stamina suffered significantly due to his weight, making him a defensive liability. At his lowest weight, he managed to drop to 235 lbs, but he'd mostly gained back up to about 260 lbs.
- Ira Berkow (17 November 1994). "Keeping Score, One Pound at a Time". New York Times. Retrieved 11 February 2020.
- Bill Brubaker (1 December 1991). "Williams Vs. Bullets: How it evolved". Washington Post. Retrieved 11 February 2020.
- Ruben Castaneda (22 June 2004). "Ex-Bullet Gets Year in Prison For Not Paying Child Support". Washington Post. Retrieved 11 February 2020.
- The NBA Player Who ATE His Way Out The League | UNTOLD, retrieved 2020-01-13