Monday, December 17, 2001


Rookie Spoils Williams' Return to Sacramento

Posted By on Mon, Dec 17, 2001 at 4:00 AM

SACRAMENTO, Calif, Dec. 17 (Ticker) -- The story was supposed to be Jason Williams coming back to Arco Arena. It turned into a coming-out party for Gerald Wallace. Wallace scored a season-high 20 points off the bench as the Sacramento Kings wrecked the return of Williams with a 104-87 victory over the Memphis Grizzlies. Williams spent his first three seasons with the Kings, helping them reach the playoffs each year. The point guard endeared himself to the fans at Arco Arena with his flashy ballhandling and long-range shooting reminiscent of Pete Maravich. Hedo Turkolglu scored eight of 35 first quarter points, and the Kings never trailed. But Williams ran into trouble on and off the court, earning a suspension for violating the league's anti-drug policy and fines for verbally abusing fans in enemy arenas. His suspect defense often landed him on the bench in the fourth quarter. In June, the Kings traded Williams to the Grizzlies for point guard Mike Bibby in a four-player deal. Williams got a fresh start, while the Kings received a steadier floor general. Williams received a pleasant welcome from the sellout crowd of 17,317, who were treated to an acrobatics show by Wallace. The 19-year-old rookie played almost entirely above the rim, which he ratlled with a handful of dunks.

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