144. Gus Williams|
One of the unheralded stars of the past. Gus Williams is a guy who gets lost in the plethora of legends of the 1980s. He’s also one of the first second round picks of the modern NBA to make a huge impact on the game.
Williams was a four year starter at USC and in his senior year averaged 21 points and 5 rebounds a game. He was selected as the 20th pick in the 1975 NBA draft by the NBA champion Golden State Warriors.
Williams would come on and be a key bench player on a team which was loaded in the back court with the likes of Rick Berry, Phil Smith, and Jamal Wilkes. Williams would play two solid seasons in a sixth man role for the Warriors before signing with the Seattle Supersonics.
Williams made an immediate impact when he signed with the Sonics, his points per game average jumped from 9 to 18. His first season with the Sonics the team made it’s first ever NBA finals, and got up 3 games to 2. But the Sonics lost two heart breakers and lost the title to the Washington Bullets.
Williams improved yet again in his second season with the Sonics and once again the team made the NBA finals. This time however, they beat up the Bullets and claimed Seattle’s first and only professional sports championship.
In 79-80 Williams had what to than was the best season of his career. Williams thought he deserved a pay raise following the season and the Sonics did not agree. This forced Williams to sit out the entire 80-81 season before the two sides finally came to an agreement.
Even though he missed an entire year of basketball Williams came back as a force. He posted career high’s in many categories and was named to his first all-star team. He would be named an all-star again the following season.
Williams played 3 more seasons with the Sonics after his one year hiatus before being traded to the Bullets for Tim McCormick. His first year with the Bullets was fairly solid as he once again put up 20 points a game and became a key member of the team. His second year however he began to drop off and by the end of the year was coming off the bench.
After two seasons with the Bullets Williams signed with the Atlanta Hawks midway through the 86-87 season. Where he played a key backup role. Following the season he retired for good from the NBA.
Today Williams runs the Gus Williams Group and small business to large business liaison company which also does a lot of charity work for groups such as the Boys and Girls Club.
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