‘Fans won’t see bet­ter bas­ket­ball in In­dia’

The Times of India (New Delhi edition) - - Times Sport - Ro­han.Al­[email protected] times­group.com

Mum­bai: Had Ja­son Wil­liams been play­ing in the NBA to­day, he would have made juicy fod­der for memes or gifs that are the cur­rent craze of the dig­i­tal era. The for­mer point guard, who won his only NBA cham­pi­onship with Mi­ami Heat in 2006, was fa­mous for play­ing the game with an un­orto­dox style that daz­zled fans who al­ways knew some­thing spec­tac­u­lar was in store when he had the ball in his hand.

Fit­ting in a way that the 43year-old was the man cho­sen by the NBA to un­veil some­thing unique here on Wed­nes­day to mark the be­gin­ning of the first-ever NBA In­dia Games — a float­ing bas­ket­ball court set up by the Ban­draWorli sea link.

Th­ese two pre-sea­son games, fea­tur­ing In­di­ana Pac­ers and Sacra­mento Kings — one of Wil­liams’ for­mer teams, which will take place at the Na­tional Sports Club of In­dia here on Oc­to­ber 4 and 5, eas­ily rep­re­sent the big­gest step taken by the NBA in its quest to ex­pand its foot­print here in In­dia.

And when it comes to such mis­sions, no one does it bet­ter ac­cord­ing to Wil­liams. “It’s the best or­gan­i­sa­tion in the world for me just for the sim­ple fact that they spread the love. They re­ally un­der­stand the ‘help me help you’ men­tal­ity. So the more they can spread the love here in In­dia, maybe they will find a Yao Ming from In­dia,” he adds re­fer­ring to the re­tired Chi­nese su­per­star.

Those who have spared no at­tempt in get­ting tick­ets to the fix­ture open to the gen­eral pub­lic on the 5th are guar­an­teed to get their money’s worth, in­sists Wil­liams. “They get to look for­ward to see­ing some of the best bas­ket­ball that they’ve ever seen, if not the best bas­ket­ball they’ve ever seen.

“I don’t think peo­ple re­al­ize, you know, watch­ing videos or on the TV or what­ever, how fast and how big and how strong th­ese guys re­ally are, and how ath­letic and how they can shoot. It’s just, it’s some­thing, you’ll see and I’m sure the fans will see too.”

Getty Im­ages

File photo of Ja­son Wil­liams from his play­ing days in the NBA

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