‘Fans won’t see better basketball in India’
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.”
File photo of Jason Williams from his playing days in the NBA