"That was like the greatest experience of my life," Williams said, and he was not exaggerating.
It was funny, actually, listening to Williams talk about spending most of the night guarding James because the Louisville star is a fully grown man with a tough-guy persona who sounded like a little kid when the conversation turned toward this subject. He called James "his favorite player ever" and explained how he was unsure whether to really get up on his idol or treat him like King James, and Williams still doesn't know what to make of the possession where he blocked James' shot.
"When I blocked that shot I started thinking," Williams said. "I was like, 'Do I really brag about blocking LeBron James' shot? And if I tell my friends, will anybody even believe me?'"
(Note to T-Will's friends: If he brags about it, know he's telling the truth. I saw it.)
(Note to Nike: Does that make me a Witness?)
Seriously, the whole thing was nice, just a gift from James and Paul, two superstar athletes with gazillions of dollars who could've been doing anything Monday night but chose to play with campers and spend time mentoring anybody who wanted to be mentored.
That's why Paul gave his cell number to Miami's Jack McClinton and Davidson's Stephen Curry and told them to call if they ever need anything, from advice about career decisions to how to defend the pick-and-roll.
And despite my earlier crack about the Olympics, I must tell you it was impossible to watch all this go down and not walk away feeling optimistic about the future of USA Basketball as long as James and Paul are involved.
Because they seem to genuinely care.
And they don't seem to handle losing well.
Proof of this came during one of the last games, when James wasn't just attacking the rim but also complaining to an official about getting fouled on his way. James looked just as intense in this pick-up game as he does during the NBA playoff games and was visibly disgusted every time he lost. It was refreshing, in a way. And when I asked Paul whether it was strange to see James so focused and serious, he shook his head side-to-side and answered simply.
"We always go hard," Paul said. "Now we just have to figure out how to win more."