Former Toronto Raptors forward Jerome Williams may have never been an All-Star during his playing years in the league, but one thing he had in common with some of the greatest players of all time was that he came from Georgetown.
Dunking on Mutombo
Like Williams, NBA all-time greats such as Allen Iverson, Patrick Ewing, and Alonzo Mourning were all honed at Georgetown. And they all take great pride in being a Hoya at one point in their illustrious careers.
Of course, Williams also carried that same Georgetown pride when he arrived to the NBA. So it was kind of a bittersweet moment whenever "Junkyard Dog" got the better of a fellow former Hoya during games. And that's exactly what happened in Game 6 of the epic 2001 playoff series between the Raptors and the Philadelphia 76ers.
According to Williams, the Sixers were just one win away from eliminating the Raptors. The game was on the line, and in the dying seconds of the fourth quarter, the ball ended up in his hands, and he threw it down hard on his defender. It was an electrifying moment indeed. However, Williams realized that the man on the wrong end of his highlight reel dunk was Dikembe Mutombo, another fellow former Hoya.
"Game 6 really sticks out – win or go home game for us at home, in Toronto," Williams told KJ Hoops. "We were playing our hearts out. Fourth quarter, pivotal point in the game, I dunked on Dikembe Mutombo, my alma mater from Georgetown, classmate. It really set the tone for leading the comeback charge to win it in Game 6 and send it to Game 7."
Unfortunately, the Raptors fell short-handed in Game 7, and the Sixers advanced to the Eastern Conference finals that year.
What a night
Another unforgettable NBA moment Williams had was the day he put on a career-high 30-point performance. To this day, "Junkyard Dog" still vividly recalls how he pulled it off against Tracy McGrady and the Orlando Magic and in the absence of then-Raptors superstar Vince Carter.
“I was trying to give my team a chance out there, and I had extra motivation; Vince Carter was down that particular game in Orlando," Williams recounted. "My team needed a little bit more scoring from me that night, so I was much obliged to show to people that I was not just a rebounder and defender, that I could actually score.”
All told, Williams' stories prove that in the NBA, even role players can steal the show and have the time of their lives. Especially when you give it all you got every time you step on the court.