The number #55 Sacramento Jersey, would have to be one of the more popular jerseys in the franchise’s history. Why is that? Because a man by the nickname ‘White Chocolate’ arrived in style in his Rookie season. Taken with the 7th pick of the 1998 draft, Jason Williams didn’t take long to have the turnstiles in Sacramento working overtime. Williams brought showtime to the Kings averaging 12.8 points and 6 assists in his first season. It wasn’t so much his stats that stood out, but more his style of play. He brought a ‘Streetball’ brand of play to the hardwood courts, that would have the fans mesmerised.
No look passes, killer crossovers and court vision of the highest quality, is what comes to mind when I remember ‘White Chocolate’. His second season would see him put up similar numbers as his Rookie year. The one knock around the league on Williams was his shooting ability. Shooting 37% from the field wasn’t quite going to cut it, if he was to be the Kings long-term starting point guard. After his 3rd year at the Kings, they decided to trade Williams in a deal that would see them gain the services of Mike Bibby. For Kings fans, it was a bitter-sweet moment, as Williams had breathed new life into the franchise, and had the stadium rocking with some majestic ‘Showtime’ performances in the 3 years he was there.
Check out ‘Jason Williams’ top 10 plays on the link below.
His new destination would be the then Vancouver Grizzlies, and it would be in Vancouver that Williams began to mature as a Point Guard in the league. Williams first season at the Grizzlies he averaged a career high 14.8 points per-game, and also added 8 assists a game. The team relocated and became the Memphis Grizzlies, Williams would become a consistent performer over a 4-year stretch for the Grizz. There were still elements of ‘White Chocolate’ but a much more consistent and mature version of Jason Williams is what the Grizzlies fans saw.
The end of the 2005 season, saw Williams traded to the Miami Heat, a move that would bring undoubtedly William’s most cherished moment of his NBA career. Williams would become an NBA Champion, as the HEAT would win it all under the guidance of Shaquille O’Neal and a young Dwayne Wade. Williams played a nice role for the Heat that season, and showed his maturity as a player shooting 44% from the field, and coming up with some huge moments and big shots that helped contribute to the Heat’s title. Williams played another two nice seasons in Miami before deciding to retire at the end of the 2008 season.
A retirement short-lived! After just one year out of the game Williams decided to return to the NBA to play for the Orlando Magic. He would play a nice role off the bench as a 3-point threat, making 221 threes at a career high 38%. The Magic had some playoff success whilst Williams was there, but ultimately time was just about up for one of the flashiest players the league had seen in some time. He ended up back at Memphis 2011, however only managed 11 games before the career of ‘White Chocolate’ finally came to an end. He amassed 4,611 assists over his career, and all you have to do is watch a Jason Williams highlight package to see that plenty of those assists are arguably the best you’ll ever see! Jason Williams was an icon to the NBA, and his jersey is still worn by Kings and NBA fans alike.
In his Rookie year the number #55 Jersey was a top 5 in sales across the league.
Jason Williams wore 4 numbers across his NBA career: 55, 2, 44 and 3.