Agent: Williams' cut not failure

December 27, 1990|By Ken Murray | Ken Murray,Evening Sun Staff

The curious pro basketball career of Reggie Williams was in a holding pattern yesterday waiting for the smoke to clear from his latest release.

Unlike his two previous NBA moves, however, Monday's dismissal by the San Antonio Spurs was not a case of nonperformance, Williams' agent said.

"I think the important message is that this is not a failure, as some may have viewed his experience in Cleveland and Los Angeles," said Bill Strickland of ProServ.

"The situation in Los Angeles and Cleveland just didn't work out. Reggie has shown that that particular style of ball and the coaching of Larry Brown are more suitable to his skills."

The former Dunbar and Georgetown star was averaging 16 minutes and 7.8 points for the Spurs this season. He also was their chief threat from three-point range.

Yet there were indications that Williams' playing time might be on the wane. He did not play in the Spurs' 132-128 overtime victory at Phoenix last Friday night. It was the first time he hadn't played in a game as a result of a coaching decision this season.

Also, there is the feeling in San Antonio that rookie Sean Higgins had passed Williams as the team's backup small forward behind Sean Elliott. Higgins recently came off the injured list and has been playing well, averaging 5.9 points and 11 minutes per game.

By waiving Williams Monday, the Spurs saved $170,000 of his $250,000 contract. A San Antonio source said yesterday that the team had tried to place Williams with another team in the league but found no takers. If unclaimed, Williams will clear waivers this afternoon.

He was unavailable for comment yesterday.

"Unfortunately there are times when teams make a move and all the circumstances don't come to light immediately," Strickland said. "I think Reggie has shown he can play within that system and make a significant contribution."

Strickland said ProServ "will explore what alternatives there are. We're giving every effort to get back into the league." And if the door to the NBA doesn't open, he said it's possible Williams could go abroad to play.

"I think it's a viable option for him," Strickland said. "I think it's a viable option for any NBA player. We're beginning to see competitive salaries. There is an increased sophistication.

"I took Anthony Cook to Greece last year and he's back in the NBA [with Denver]. We had Danny Ferry over there, too."

The Spurs waived Williams along with guard Pete Myers, opening two roster spots. They filled one spot by activating forward Sidney Green and plan to use the other to sign a point guard. Their only true point guard, Rod Strickland, has a bad ankle.

Williams was the fourth player chosen in the 1987 draft by the Los Angeles Clippers. He was traded to Cleveland in November 1989 and released by the Cavaliers last February.

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