A D-League ball boy gave Terrence Williams a wake-up call

13 Dec

It’s been an eventful month for Terrence Williams of the New Jersey Nets, bookended by going all Soul Asylum on LeBron James and donating $20,000 to the city of Newark, N.J., to both buy holiday toys for children and “teach kids more about black history.”

In between, the former Louisville standout got busted down to the D-League as a punishment for persistent tardiness, averaged a triple-double during a three-game stint in Massachusetts for the D-League’s Springfield Armor, then promptly came back to the big show (well, as big a show as you can consider Avery Johnson’s 6-18 squad).

Upon returning to the Nets, Williams told Colin Stephenson of the Newark Star-Ledger that the demotion caused him to re-evaluate his behavior (no, really):

“There definitely was an awakening,” [Williams] said of his three-game experience in the D-League. “It woke me up a lot. I’m not going to sit here and give you the typical answers — everybody that goes to the D-League and comes back says, ‘Yeah, I understood my lesson.’ When I say I understood my lesson, I truly mean that, in the most sincere way, that I really understood going down there and it definitely woke me up, and hopefully helps my career in the long run.”

The key elements that drove the lesson home, according to Williams? His mother crying after hearing the news and asking him if he’d been kicked out of the NBA — and some words of wisdom from an Armor ball boy.

Out of the mouths of babes:

“One of the ball boys there was 12 years old,” Williams recalled. “[When] I started the first game, I was like, ‘Do you watch the NBA?’ He said, ‘Yeah, you’re one of the players I [like to] watch. Why would you blow it?’ I was like, ‘What are you talking about?’ He said, ‘Why would you want to have an attitude, and be late — the simplest things you can control? And you get to be in the NBA? I would die to do that, so don’t blow it.'”

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