Tag:Derrick Williams
Posted on: February 26, 2012 6:13 pm
Edited on: March 4, 2012 6:25 pm
 

Derrick Williams, Jack fight over Dunk Contest

Jarrett Jack did not think Derrick Williams did well in the dunk contest. (Getty Images)
Posted by Ben Golliver  

There's nothing better than making fun of the Dunk Contest and there's not much more exciting than athlete-on-athlete violence on Twitter, so get ready for a good time right here, right now.

On Saturday night, Minnesota Timberwolves rookie forward Derrick Williams had an up-and-down Dunk Contest. The highlight was his second attempt, a side-of-the-backboard, alley-oop assisted by Ricky Rubio. The lowlight was his third attempt, a string of misses as he tried to complete a self-toss, through-the-legs throwdown.

But it wasn't either of those dunks that set off New Orleans Hornets guard Jarrett Jack. No, it was Williams' first attempt, in which he rode in on a motorcyle with a mascot and then jumped over the bike to throw down a windmill.

On his Twitter account, @JarrettJack03, Jack objected to what he deemed a less-than-masculine scene.

"Definitely against all the man laws ever created. Dudes can't ride on the back of motorcycles," Jack opined. He later pointed out that Williams has a "cash register mouth," a reference to Williams' "underbite."

Jack went on to call the Dunk Contest the "worst... of all time" and explained that Utah Jazz forward Jeremy Evans, the eventual Slam Dunk contest winner, has "dolphin teeth."

It wasn't long before Williams, posting on his account, @realdwill7, felt the need to respond.

"Hahaa who?" Williams wrote when someone informed him of Jack's criticism, implying that he didn't know who the seventh year pro out of Georgia Tech was.

Later, he took an apparent dig at Jack's future with the Hornets, writing: "All I know is come draft night.. That team lookin for a point guard." Shortly thereafter, he realized it might be time to simmer down. "I need to chill. chill button pushed," Williams wrote.

After the extended back and forth, Jack suggested that perhaps Williams needed to be a little more self-effacing. "I hope the dude Derrick Williams aint takin it too serious they are just jokes," he wrote. "If you can't laugh at yourself, what can u really laugh at?"

So that's good. We've apparently reached a Dunk Contest detente. In case you were wondering, the next meeting between the Timberwolves and the Hornets will be on Mar. 10 in Minnesota.
Posted on: February 25, 2012 8:32 pm
Edited on: February 26, 2012 12:01 am
 

All-Star Saturday Night Results

All-Star Saturday night is happening, which is exciting, for all of us, really. (Getty Images)



It's All-Star Saturday Night, when the best, or at least best with respect to relative health, come out to shine under the bright lights and other cliches. The Skills Contest, the 3-Point Shooting Contest, and the Slam Dunk Contest take place Saturday night, and we'll have updates to all the events and highlights here. Consider this your home for All-Star Saturday Night. 

You can follow us on Twitter @EyeOnBasketball, and follow our guys on the ground in our All-Star Saturday Night Experience

Haier Shooting Stars: Let's be honest, this is like the opening band you don't show up for.

Your contestants:

Team Orlando: Jameer Nelson, Marie Ferdinand-Harris, Dennis Scott

Team Atlanta: Jerry Stackhouse, Lindsey Harding, Steve Smith

Team New York: Landry Fields, Cappi Pondexter, Allan Houston 

Team Texas: Chandler Parsons, Sophia Young, Kenny Smith

Winner: TEAM NEW YORK: Allan Houston still has it. The man downed two half-court shots and team New York cleared the final round in 37 seconds. The fact that Kenny Smith and Allan Houston are still better shooters than any of the Milwaukee Bucks is a bit distressing. 

From Royce Young of CBSSports.com:

A reporter asked Allan Houston if he's in such good shape where he could almost -- "Stop. Stop it right now. This was fun ... It feels good to have a uniform again, but that's about it. That's about the limits if it." Then Landry Fields jumped in saying, "He's not taking that uniform off tonight."



Taco Bell Skills Challenge: Please don't hurt yourselves, you're basically your entire teams

Russell Westbrook

Rajon Rondo

John Wall

Deron Williams

Tony Parker

Winner: Tony Parker: Kyrie Irving was basically terrible. Rajon Rondo outid Russell Westbrook with a great time in a run-off round, then both Rondo and Deron Williams went on a brick fest on the mid-range jumper. Parker breezed to a win. The effort in this wasn't the worst thing you've ever seen, provided you've seen the Washington Wizards play this season. Williams didn't win, but he did have the fastest time on this run:

 


Foot Locker 3-Point Contest: If James Jones win, we're going to spit

James Jones

Kevin Love

Ryan Anderson

Kevin Durant

Anthony Morrow

Mario Chalmers

Winner: Kevin Love in an upset! Love found himself in a shoot-off with Kevin Durant after tying him in the final round, and then bested the scoring leader 17-14. James Jones made it to the final round and had a pretty low bar of 16 to best, but couldn't get it done, dropping just 12. A dominant rebounding power forward just won the 3-point contest. Boom. Click here for video highlights


Sprite Slam Dunk Contest: You don't know their names, but maybe that means they can only exceed expectations

Paul George

Derrick Williams

Chase Budinger

Jeremy Evans

Winner: No one. It was very likely the worst dunk contest of all time. Jeremy Evans did win, in a contest that featured him making a straight reverse dunk with a camera attached that no one got, and dunking over Kevin Hart dressed as a mailman while wearing a Karl Malone jerey. The coolest dunk of the night was Paul George in the dark. Goodnight everyone, and may God have Mercy on our souls.
Posted on: February 21, 2012 8:32 pm
 

Chase Budinger prepares for the dunk contest

Posted by Royce Young



Most everyone wasn't exactly blown away when this year's All-Star slam dunk contest participants were announced. Derrick Williams, Paul George, Iman Shumpert and Chase Budinger isn't exactly a field that gets you pumped up.

But that's not so say those guys aren't taking things seriously and aren't going to try and put on a real show.

In what's clearly a planned video featuring teammate Chandler Parsons and a cardboard cutout of Yao Ming, Budinger is caught practicing a dunk over the likeness of the former 7-6 Houston Rocket. I don't know if that's one he's really planning, but points for thinking outside the box. Maybe we shouldn't write this dunk contest off quite yet.
Posted on: February 16, 2012 10:25 am
Edited on: February 16, 2012 12:04 pm
 

Dunk contest released: Jeremy Lin to have a part?

Posted by Royce Young

He won't be dunking, but Linsanity could have a role in the dunk contest. (Getty Images)

The 2012 dunk contest participants will be Paul George of the Pacers, Derrick Williams of the Timberwolves, Iman Shumpert of the Knicks and Chase Budinger of the Rockets, the NBA announced Thursday.

But that's not all. I guess in an effort to spice up the field as well as find a way to work Linsanity into All-Star Weekend, Jeremy Lin will also be playing a part. According to ESPN.com, Lin will be "assisting" Shumpert in some way, much in the same way Baron Davis helped out Blake Griffin at last year's contest.

The New York Daily News also reported that Lin would be part of the "Shooting Stars" competition, meaning he'd already be in the arena for All-Star Saturday night. David Stern has already said that Lin would not be a late addition to the Rising Stars game.

There will be a revamped format that will feature only one round and be voted on only by the fans. There no longer will be judges in the event, which also will be reduced to one round. Each contestant will execute three dunks. Fans will determine the champion by voting on NBA.com, Twitter or through text messaging. The format in recent years was two rounds, with a panel of judges voting on the first round before fan voting in the second.

As for the actual contest, it's a pretty weak field with no big name stars. Actually, when you really look it over, it might the weakest there's ever been. No disrespect to the participants, but none are exactly well known players to the casual NBA fan. Maybe Williams, just because the was the No. 2 overall pick.

Last year featured Blake Griffin, JaVale McGee, Serge Ibaka and DeMar DeRozan, four fairly well known players. This year has two rookies and two role players. Not exactly an eye-popping group. But let's break the field down anyway.

I'd say the early favorite has to be Williams, who is a bit in the Griffin mold of a big man with freakish leaping ability. He can always employ his teammate Ricky Rubio, who surely could zip a fancy pass Williams' way. Paul George is long and can jump. Budinger participated in the McDonald's All-American dunk contest in high school and has always been known as a big leaper.

But it might be hard to top Shumpert. Not because he's some fantastic dunker, but because of this being a fan vote thing and if he indeed brings along Lin, the people will likely speak on the side of the not just the Knicks, but of Lin.

I suppose the NBA is banking on Lin's "assisting" star power to give this contest a bump. Players are less and less inclined to participate in the event for the risk of injury and just the fact it's a stressful thing to add to an already busy weekend. Plus, the league sees it as an opportunity to welcome new faces to the casual fan with the possibility one of the guys does something unexpected and amazing. Vince Carter was a rising star, but he exploded as a household name after his dunk contest performance.

It might be a weak group lacking big names, but we'll all be watching anyway. And if you've watched much Paul George or Derrick Williams, you know that those two can fly. Who knows, we might be in for a pleasant surprise.
Posted on: February 16, 2012 9:40 am
 

Wolves offering Derrick Williams for Pau Gasol?

Gasol's name is popping up in trade rumors again. (Getty Images)
Posted by Royce Young

The Lakers already tried to trade Pau Gasol once this season. So they aren't completely married to their Spanish power forward. The Lakers appear to be a team shopping at the trade deadline, especially with that nice trade exception they got in the Lamar Odom deal.

But that doesn't mean the Lakers are just going to do anything. So are ready for a trade rumor that almost certainly will not happen, but is pretty fun to think about anyway? Via FoxSports.com:
In other news involving NBA big men, a source said Wednesday that Minnesota continues to pursue a possible trade for Lakers forward Pau Gasol, dangling rookie Derrick Williams, who is from the Los Angeles area, and draft choices.

The only players considered untouchable by the Timberwolves, who are seeking to add a veteran by the trade deadline, are Kevin Love and Ricky Rubio. The Timberwolves believe it could be enticing for Gasol to play on the same team as fellow Spaniard Rubio.
The two biggest reasons this isn't happening:

1) No way Kobe Bryant would at all be cool with this, considering he's not exactly of the mind for the Lakers to start a rebuilding youth movement as he chases a sixth ring. If you want to upset Kobe, trade Gasol for someone not named Dwight.

2) Actually, that first reason is probably enough.

Then again, maybe there's one reason it would. Maybe the Lakers have visions of using Williams in a package with Andrew Bynum to have a go at Dwight Howard. Maybe the Gasol/Bynum thing isn't what Orlando is looking for and instead wants to get younger, get some picks and get some talent back. That, I can buy.

From the Minnesota perspective, I'm actually a little curious as to why the Wolves would want to go down that path. Gasol is more of a 4 than a 5 and they already have Kevin Love playing power forward. And Nikola Pekovic is coming on strong right now at center. It's understandable if they see Williams not fitting in anywhere, but Gasol's not exactly a major need player for them either.

Either way, there's a month until the trade deadline and I'm pretty sure this isn't the last trade rumor you're going to hear Gasol's name get dropped in. The Lakers want, and probably need, to make a deal. And Gasol's a pretty big piece to dangle out there.
Posted on: January 10, 2012 3:38 pm
 

Why isn't Ricky Rubio starting?

Posted by Royce Young



So Ricky Rubio is living up the the hype he carried around with him before the draft in 2009. He's a passing savant, a true genius with the ball in his hands. He sees the floor like he uses a superpower to pick out a cutting teammate. He puts passes right on the money, finds space and even has shown a little more offense than expected.

And yet, he still finds himself behind Luke Ridnour on the depth chart. Understandable. We're only nine games into the season and there was no telling that Rubio would be this NBA ready. You didn't want to just throw him to the wolves (get it? you get it) and let him learn on the fly. Minnesota wanted to develop him, make sure the game wasn't too fast for him and bring him along slowly. No need to rush.

But, then again, Rubio has been, well, awesome. And while yes, it's just nine games, those nine games haven proven that a) Ricky Rubio is better than Luke Ridnour and b) Rubio is obviously the point guard of the future for the team. So considering those two factors and also that the Wolves aren't risking a playoff spot by handing the keys entirely to Rubio, it's time to start asking: Why is he not starting?

Probably because his defense is still bad, right? I mean, that's what pretty much everyone wanted to fall back on while critiquing the young Spaniard. Sure he's flashy, but NBA point guards will tear him apart.

So, have they? Through the Wolves nine games, Rubio has taken on opposing point guards like Russell Westbrook, Brandon Jennings, Tony Parker, Kyrie Irving and John Wall and has a matchup with MVP Derrick Rose Tuesday night. A pretty good batch of talent to measure himself against. Granted, Luke Ridnour is technically the starter and Rubio gets quite a bit of second quarter minutes when a second unit is on the floor, but note that Rubio has played virtually every entire fourth quarter, which means he has seen probably more time on the opposite starting point than Ridnour.

How'd he do? Westbrook scored 28 on 10-21 shooting but turned it over seven times. Jennings went for 24 and seven assists. Parker had just 11 points on 3-11 shooting. Irving scored 14 on 12 shots and had seven turns. And Wall was just 3-10 from the floor with four turnovers.

The lesson: Rubio isn't getting dominated by any stretch. He's holding his own, and in some cases, playing pretty good defense. For instance, in Minnesota's opener against the Thunder, Rubio did a great job staying in front of an attacking Westbrook, taking a critical charge late in the fourth quarter. He moved his feet, kept position and didn't reach. He leads the Wolves in steals with 1.3 a game (15 in the league among point guards) and has shown excellent passing lane instincts. You can be a great player without playing great defense. Steve Nash has always been a pretty mild defender, but does a serviceable enough job to not make it a glaring issue. And that's what Rubio's doing. He's not going to be a stopper by any means, but he's not getting abused.

And when you can make plays on the other end, it often doesn't matter either way. Rubio changes the way the Wolves play. Their best lineup in terms of plus-minus includes him, and it's not close.

Now, Rick Adelman knows basketball and his team a whole lot better than I do. He knows what he's doing. But you can be sure he's trying to figure out when the right time to make the transition is. Maybe it's that David Kahn wants to build up Ridnour's trade value and then deal the veteran to make a natural hole for Rubio. Maybe the idea is since Derrick Williams can't start because Michael Beasley (or Wayne Ellington) is in front of him that it's better to keep Rubio and Williams playing together in the second unit because that's the future of the Wolves. Maybe it's just because Adelman doesn't see Rubio as ready.

But if that last one was the case, Rubio wouldn't have played every single minute of every single fourth quarter so far this season. He hasn't come out those last 12 minutes yet. Adelman clearly trusts him with crunch-time and clearly thinks he can handle those important minutes. Adelman likes to use Ridnour and Rubio together a lot in the fourth, but the point is, Rubio is getting starter minutes for the most part, especially in terms of the quality of the minutes. So he's getting the necessary experience.

It's clear though that the future of the Wolves rests in Rubio's hands as their starting point guard. He wasn't drafted and didn't finally come over from Spain to back up Luke Ridnour. It's about timing. It might happen after the All-Star break or trade deadline or it might not happen until next season.

Point is, Rubio's ready for it. Why delay it? He's proven he can handle the responsibility of driving the Wolves car, he can defend well enough and is the future. It's not a question of if he'll ever start, it's just a matter of when, and how soon.
Posted on: October 27, 2011 11:03 am
Edited on: October 27, 2011 11:53 am
 

Video: Under Armour 'Are you from Here?' campaign

By Matt Moore

Under Armour has launched its first real campaign with its new stable of basketball players including Kemba Walker and Derrick Williams. The concept is built around "Are you from Here?" with "Here" being that mystical place where competition is all that matters, dribbling is poetry, and the journey is more important than the destination. "Here" is also code word for "getting your face kicked in in practice so you can be the best you can be." The ad features the new stable (Williams, Walker, along with signature athlete Brandon Jennings, and without Greivis Vasquez) in a series of grueling practice sessions in various training centers. 

It's not bad, even if it's low on brand exposure for the athletes themselves. Maybe that will come with subsequent spots. It's not bone chilling, but it got a little frosty.  

Here's the ad, via Dime. 

Posted on: September 19, 2011 1:06 pm
Edited on: September 19, 2011 9:41 pm
 

The biggest loser from Eurobasket? Ricky Rubio

Posted by Royce Young



Eurobasket 2011 was about a whole lot more than just a player. It was about a loaded Spain team coming together with an incredibly talented roster to win gold and automatically qualify for the 2012 Olympics. And in the meantime, catch the full, undivided attention of Team USA.

But as has been the case for the past four years or so, we've all remained intrigued with one player that happens to look like Justin Bieber's Spanish doppelganger. Eurobasket provided us the opportunity to take a good, long look at Ricky Rubio, who remember, will actually play for the Timberwolves this season.

How did he do? Well, judging by his numbers, bad. Very bad. Here are the averages he had during the tournament: 1.5 points, 2.1 assists and 2.5 rebounds per game. With that, he just 23.3 percent from the field, was just 1-for-15 from 3 and made only a single free throw. His best game? Five points, seven rebounds and four assists against Macedonia. And before you ask, he saw a solid amount of playing time in the tournament -- 15.5 minutes per game. (He averaged 1.5 steals per game and was pretty active in passing lanes, which was good.)

Now of course you have to realize where Rubio fit in with a loaded Spain team. The offense basically revolved around the Gasol brothers in the post while Juan Carlos Navarro provided a perimeter spark with his shooting and driving. Rubio's job was pretty much to dump the ball inside and then get out of the way. It's most certainly not the way he'll be used in Minnesota in Rick Adelman's system. And for the billionth time, he's just 20 years old.

Still. Still. It's just hard to ignore the latest -- and probably brightest -- red flag in de-hyping Ricky Rubio. Not just because of the numbers, but because we haven't really seen a player that's going to light up defenses with crazy court vision and wondrous offensive control since the 2008 Olympics. And that was just in short three-minute bursts. It's a question of if Rubio can really sustain himself as an NBA starting point guard that doesn't just set up Kevin Love and Derrick Williams, but also defends Derrick Rose, Russell Westbrook and Chris Paul. At this point, can you picture that happening?

After another buzzkill performance, I have to ask: What exactly is there to be all that excited about? What are we supposed to be seeing that's to make us think this guy will tear up the NBA? I get that he had a few nice defensive games and can steal a few passes, but is that really what the apparent "savior" of Minnesota basketball is supposed to possess? Some quick hands?

He's young, yes. He's still got a lot of time to grow and learn. He could very well be an excellent point guard that takes a little Steve Nash flair and a little Rajon Rondo court vision and bottles it into a playmaking whiz. It could certainly happen. But at what point are we supposed to see something to make us think it could happen?

The best thing that could ever happen to Rubio's NBA career just did though and that's Adelman being hired to coach the Wolves. He's an offensive genius that understands and teaches spacing and movement better than anyone. Rubio will be at least a solid point man just by default of the offense and the players around him. Derrick Williams will be good. Kevin Love is a star. And wingers like Wesley Johnson, Michael Beasley and Martell Webster give him a healthy number of options to pass to.

But that's assuming Rubio understands how to assert himself within an offense. It's not just Eurobasket. His European professional seasons haven't been anything impressive either. Last season for Regal Barcelona, he averaged 6.5 points (on 39 percent shooting), went 11-49 from 3 (22 percent) and in the place he's supposed to excel, he averaged just 3.5 assists per game. And that was maybe his best season yet in Europe.

Again, I'm not giving up on Ricky Rubio. I want him to be good. With Adelman coaching, the Timberwolves just went to a lock for "League Pass Favorite" with a lot of NBA junkies. We know Rubio can pass. We know he has a gift in seeing the floor and setting up teammates like he's Xavi, the great Barcelona midfielder. He's got a unique set of skills in him. He's a gifted, talented player and what he can do should work better in the NBA than it has in Europe. But will it ever translate into anything more than a slick YouTube highlight or two? Isn't it getting to hard to ignore red flag after red flag with Eurobasket being the latest?

If anything, Eurobasket's just increased the pressure on Rubio. He's got people like me now staring him down and expecting something good in a very short time. Instead of giving a 20-year-old a little breathing room and time to grow, we're all going to expect five assists a game with one being a dazzling no-look oop every game. We're going to expect Rubio make an impact immediately, otherwise it'll be too easy to say, "I knew it! Eurobasket foretold the story!"

What Rubio is facing is maybe the unprecedented situation of being labeled a bust before he even plays a game in the NBA. Not an easy world to be walking into. Thing is, it's not like it's unfair or undeserved. He hasn't done anything to convince someone otherwise.

Rubio played his role for Spain in Eurobasket. Didn't complain, didn't break character, didn't try and do too much just because a lot of eyes were on him. And to his credit, he never has. Even with the pressure of undeniable hype, Rubio has always played his game, no matter how meager it might look in the statsheet. But all that means is that he's got more people expecting him to fail, more people ready to point and laugh at David Kahn. I mean, let's be honest: Kahn's job is riding entirely on the shoulders of Rubio right now. Kahn was in attendance at Eurobasket to watch his young passing prodigy. And you know he probably felt a bit squirmy when Rubio clanged around open 15-footer.

He could very easily be Rajon Rondo. A playmaker that's content with setting up teammates in creative ways while sacrificing any sort of good scoring game. But he could also very easily be a poor man's Jose Calderon. One that can't shoot, doesn't pile up assists and doesn't even possess that same kind of annoying intensity. And that's definitely not what you want the supposed savior of your franchise to be.
 
 
 
 
The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or CBSSports.com