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Conduct Concerns Continuing For Local Product Williams

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A Daily Babble Production

Former Boston College talent-disaster Sean Williams is in trouble.  Again.

As reported by the Star-Ledger's Dave D'Alessandro (hat tip to CB member Spoon), police arrested the Nets' forward on Monday in Denver on suspicion of disorderly conduct and felony criminal mischief.  The Nets suspended him for two games later this week.  I couldn't help but laugh when reading the following, simply based on the sheer stupidity of the incident:

The incident occurred at 2 p.m. Monday at the AT&T Mobility store inside the Park Meadows Mall. According to police, Williams had a verbal altercation with the clerk, and picked up a computer monitor and threw it. The monitor and other equipment was broken, causing damages estimated to be about $1,200 to $1,300.

As a fellow customer of whatever Cingular and AT&T are calling themselves these days, I can attest to having had a few unsavory experiences with customer service there.  But it's never been monitor chuck-worthy bad.

On a less amusing note, it's discouraging to see a talented young player heading toward a one-way ticket out of the Association.

While Williams has not been convicted of this latest offense and remains innocent until proven guilty, his history of behavioral issues doesn't lend to a good forecast here.  He got arrested on drug charges in his freshman year at BC, earned multiple suspensions during his tenure and was ultimately kicked off the team in his junior season following more drug violations.  Williams escaped prosecution for violating a restraining order on campus last month when BC coach Al Skinner stated that he invited Williams to the game while unaware of the restraining order.

On the basketball side, his long-held reputation of work ethic issues caught up to him early this season.  After he fell out of favor with Lawrence Frank and dropped to the back of the Nets' rotation, the team sent him down to the D-League...only to have him bounced right back to them thanks to his attitude.  After two ejections, the Nets' affiliate in Colorado asked the team to take him back.  Mind-numbing.

As someone who became momentarily smitten with Williams' athleticism a season ago, this is particular disappointing.  He was no star in his rookie season, but he did show that he possesses the physical capabilities to bring a lot to the table.  The 6-foot-10 stringbean could use a bit more bulk, but he moves with a light gait and jumps as though he has springs in his legs.  That combined with his long wingspan helped him average a block and a half in less than 20 minutes per game last season.  That's excellent and put him on pace for 3.0 blocks per 36 minutes.  He showed a nose for the ball and offered a glimpse of a future interior stopper for the Nets.  In his 73 appearances, he also demonstrated a bit of competence at the rest of the game, grabbing 9.1 boards and averaging 11.5 points per 36 minutes on 53.8 percent shooting.  Not spectacular, but decent for a guy who has the potential to be an impact defensive player thanks to his ability to block, alter and discourage shots inside.  There appeared to be plenty of time to work on his conditioning and limited offensive game.

But while the shot-blocking remains consistent, the rest of the progress has stalled this year.  After making it through last season with minimal conduct issues, Williams seems to be regressing toward his old self, and it has reflected in his struggles on the court.  He has only made it into 30 games, his points and rebounds figures are both below eight per 36 minutes, and his field-goal percentage has dropped precipitously to 43.8. 

And now he's in trouble with the law.  Again.

Sean Williams has a lot of natural basketball talent.  But barring a major personal turnaround, it's hard to imagine he'll be getting too many more opportunities at this level, considering his history at Boston College and the legacy he is developing in New Jersey.

Here's hoping the young man can get his situation straightened out.  For now, the head-shaking around him continues.