Williams blames money for cut by San Antonio

December 28, 1990|By Alan Goldstein

This has not been the best of Christmases for Reggie Williams and his family.

The former Baltimore Dunbar High and Georgetown star was waived by the San Antonio Spurs of the National Basketball Association on Christmas Eve. As of yesterday, Williams had not heard from his agent, David Falk, of ProServ, Inc., about any other teams interested in signing him for the remainder of the 1990-91 season.

"It was a complete surprise and shock to me," Williams said yesterday from his home in San Antonio. "This is particularly frustrating because I was playing the best ball of my NBA career.

"I was shooting just under 50 percent from the field [48 percent] and making more than half my three-point shots. I finally had my confidence back.

"If I hadn't been performing, it would have been understandable. What it came down to was money: I was the only one on the Spurs' roster without a guaranteed contract," said Williams, earning a reported $700,000 a year."

Williams, who was averaging 7.8 points in 17 minutes, said the reasons coach Larry Brown gave for releasing him were "just a lot of bull."

"Coach Brown said he had a glut at the three [small forward] spot with Sean Elliott and [rookie] Sean Higgins both playing there," Williams said. "But I was really being used more at guard, backing up Willie Anderson and Paul Pressey. I was finally coming into my own, and now this has happened."

San Antonio is the third professional team for Williams, a 6-foot-7 swing man. In 1987, he was the Los Angeles Clippers made him fourth player selected in the NBA draft.

Rotating at guard and small forward, he averaged a little more than 10 points his first two seasons, but fell out of favor with then-Clippers coach Don Casey and was traded in November 1989 to Cleveland as part of the Cavaliers' swap of Ron Harper and several high draft picks for the rights to Danny Ferry.

In Cleveland, coach Lenny Wilkens and general manager Wayne Embry questioned Williams' motivation, suggesting he was not working hard enough to improve his game. He was waived by the Cavaliers last February and picked up a month later by the Spurs.

"I thought this was a perfect situation for me," Williams said. "With the Clippers, we were always losing. I was finally playing for a consistent winner and getting along with everybody on the team."

Asked of a report that the Spurs, with a roster spot open, might try to re-sign him to a 10-day contract at a significantly reduced salary, Williams said, "It's not something I'm considering now."

Williams was the second Dunbar and Georgetown alumnus cut by the Spurs this year. Former teammate David Wingate was released before the start of the season after he was charged with rape in Maryland and San Antonio.

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