- The Washington Times - Friday, May 5, 2000

Jason Williams remains a halftime show trapped in a player's uniform.

Williams does not want to be a point guard. He wants to be the person who can pull a rabbit out of his shorts while juggling eight basketballs at once.

Williams does not need a basketball coach. He needs a therapist. A tranquilizer before each game would be helpful as well.

Williams is trying to reinvent the wheel in the Kings-Lakers series. He is not just silly. He is dumb. He does not know how to make a smart play. He only knows how to be a gimmick who craves attention.

He dribbles the ball with his nose hairs; therefore, he is.

There is Williams with the ball in Game 4, dribbling the ball between his legs and then around his back, going nowhere, just posing, being cool. There goes the ball out of bounds after it hits his leg.

This is not basketball. This is an act.

Coach Rick Adelman is a candidate for sainthood after two seasons with Williams. But there are even limits to Adelman's well-documented patience.

In the last two games, Adelman has stuck Williams on the bench for most of the fourth quarter and entrusted the offense to Tony Delk.

Coincidentally, the Kings have won the last two games to impose a Game 5 on the Lakers tonight.

Delk, who is playing with his third NBA team in four seasons, should not be confused with Jason Kidd and Gary Payton. Yet Delk is inclined to make the simple play, the high-percentage play, which gives him a distinct advantage over Williams.

There is a message in this development, but there is no guarantee the message is getting through to Williams. He plays brain dead. Maybe it is no act.

People like Williams. But people like the bearded lady, too. Neither contributes much to winning a basketball game in the playoffs.

With the outcome decided in the final seconds of Game 3, Williams attempted an old schoolyard maneuver on Kobe Bryant: the self-pass through an opponent's legs. It did not work, thankfully, and it only underlined, again, the point guard's convoluted thought process.

You don't try to show up an opponent in the final seconds of a game that has been decided. You don't try to score. You let the clock tick out, and you leave the playground nonsense to the playground. That is the unwritten rule in the NBA.

But Williams is too hip to be something as quaint as a good sport. He has the requisite tattoos, and his shaved pate gives him the James Carville-like alien look. He also has established the reckless driving game with teammate Chris Webber.

Those are just two happening guys. If they didn't have a court date, they probably would feel lonely.

Webber and the Department of Motor Vehicles, in particular, do not mix well, going back to his misunderstood days in Tony Cheng's neighborhood.

When Webber hops into a vehicle, Mark Fuhrman plants marijuana in the glove compartment, and law enforcement officials invent traffic violations to harass the ever-innocent master of the ugly face.

They say Jim Carrey has a rubber face. They have not seen Webber contort his face after a tough call.

At least Williams is keeping the right company. He majored in marijuana at Florida.

As it is, Williams has been granted a considerable amount of hype for what amounts to a dog-and-pony show.

Finally, after two seasons, even the hypemeisters are starting to see through the tricks.

Yes, Williams is able to dribble the ball with his ear lobes. And he can make the no-look pass to a spectator sitting at courtside with the best. And his pull-up 3-point attempts from stupid range are something else.

But, really, what does it all mean if the fundamental purpose of the game is to outscore the opposition?

Adelman appears to have answered the question in the last two games. He has elected to go with Delk's steadiness in the fourth quarter, and the Kings are flirting with the unthinkable.

Williams, meanwhile, is mostly watching it all from a well-earned seat on the bench.

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