The Washington Bullets' new motto "You've gotta believe," does not apply to John Williams. Bullets general manager John Nash said yesterday he won't be had twice.
Williams, the Bullets' overweight suspended power forward, has been spotted in Washington. Nash said he has received numerous calls from people who have spotted Williams and added that he had received a FAX yesterday from Williams' agent saying he "assumed Williams had returned to Washington."
"I don't know what that means," said Nash. "I have not seen nor heard from John and I don't expect to hear from him. He's not in our plans. We've got 12 active players who have worked very hard. My feeling is that if he wanted to play pro basketball this season, he should have been in training camp."
But that's not to say the Bullets are finished with Williams. They have a contract and Nash said the team is prepared to honor it.
"If he shows up fit, passes our physical and is able to play, we'll respond accordingly," said Nash. "But given my best information -- I've heard from numerous people who have seen him -- I'm not hopeful."
Bullets coach Wes Unseld said last night the Williams sightings will not affect his preparation for the NBA season that opens tomorrow night in Indiana.
"I don't know what his being in Washington means," Unseld said. "And I'm not about to speculate on it."
Nash said the Bullets put their faith in Williams a year ago, when he returned just before the season, promising in a contrite news conference to put his basketball life back in order, but will not do it again.
"What's the old saying, 'Fool me once, shame on you. Fool me twice, shame on me.' Well, I've been fooled once."