Jason Williams: 3x3 basketball ‘a tough sport’

Published March 25, 2023, 8:30 AMYoyo Sarmenta

NBA champion Jason Williams is in the Philippines to headline the NBA 3X Philippines festivities this weekend.

More than a decade since his last NBA game, Jason Williams still has his charming smile and childlike aura as though he was running down the court and set to throw a behind-the-back pass. 

The long lines of fans that stood outside the NBA Store Philippines in SM Megamall on a busy Friday afternoon definitely remember those crazy dishes and highlight plays from the champion guard. 

“It’s crazy to me that I have this many fans this far away,” Williams said. “The fans have always treated me good when I came here. And it just keeps getting better.”

Williams is back in the country to headline NBA 3X Philippines which will be held on March 25 and 26 at the SM Mall of Asia Music Hall. It marks the return of the 3x3 festivities by the NBA after a three-year hiatus. 

“3x is a tough sport. You gotta be intelligent,” Williams said. “You gotta be smart and we’ll see what happens.”

Drafted seventh overall in the 1998 NBA Draft, Williams took the league by storm as a rookie for the Sacramento Kings. He wowed fans with no-look dimes and nifty crossovers, to go along with his unique layup package.

Fittingly, Williams said that if there was a season that stands out to him personally besides his 2006 title run with the Miami Heat, it would be his rookie year. 

“That’s probably what I’m most remembered for so I’ll put that to a close second with the 2006 (title),” he said. 

The razzle-dazzle days of Williams may be long gone but that hasn’t stopped him from enjoying the game. He keeps tabs on the players of today, including keeping a close eye on the best playmakers. 

“All those guys are good nowadays. The point guards are good. There’s not really one that stands out. I like to watch all the guys play. But Luka Doncic is pretty good,” he said. 

As a former King and Memphis Grizzlies guard, Williams also mentioned that the growth of NBA teams is good for the league as a whole. 

“I think the NBA is in a good spot with all these good teams,” said Williams, who also played for the Orlando Magic. “They have a bunch of great players that are spread out throughout the league.”

The 47-year-old Williams still has a lot of passion for the game and he’s excited for the weekend ahead in the country. And with the NBA playoffs just around the corner, he’s ecstatic even more. 

“I’m not rooting for anybody, really, in particular. I just want to see a bunch of Game 7s,” he said with a huge grin.