Posts Tagged ‘Syracuse’

Dwayne “Pearl” Washington dead at age 52

HANG TIME BIG CITY — Former NBA point guard and legendary collegian Dwayne “Pearl” Washington died today at age 52, according to Syracuse.com. Washington was hospitalized last year with a brain tumor, for which he had been receiving treatment.

A native of Brooklyn, Washington played at Syracuse, where he was a consensus All-American averaging 15.7 points and 6.7 assists over his Syracuse career, where he played a crowd-pleasing style during the heyday of the Big East Conference.

As brilliant as his collegiate career was, Washington never reached that level of success in the NBA. Washington was taken 13th overall in the 1986 NBA Draft by the New Jersey Nets. After two seasons with the Nets, the Miami Heat selected Washington in the expansion draft. Washington played one season with Miami, averaging 7.6 points and 4.2 assists over 54 games, before being released.

As Washington told the New York Times in 2003: “I had a God-given talent and I was always ahead of everybody else in high school and in college. But when I got to that next level, guys were above me. So at that point, you have to say either ‘I’m going to work at it to become a good player in the NBA,’ or, ‘This ain’t for me anymore.’ I decided that it wasn’t for me. I didn’t love it enough to really work hard at it anymore. But I have no regrets.”

Hang Time Podcast (Episode 233) Featuring Marvin Williams

HANG TIME HEADQUARTERS — Times are good for Charlotte Hornets veteran Marvin Williams and they could get much better by the weekend.

Williams and the Hornets are on the verge of clinching a playoff berth, cementing one of the surprise seasons in the league behind the work of a core group that includes Kemba Walker, Williams, Nicolas Batum, Al Jefferson and Jeremy Lin.

And with North Carolina back in the Final Four, the lone No. 1 seed to make it through the craziness that is March Madness, Williams could have plenty of reasons to celebrate. (His memories of winning it all at North Carolina in 2005 are fresh in his mind, even if it seems like a lifetime ago to others.)

There is still work to be done, of course, on both accounts. But Williams is close to achieving a level of satisfaction only a few can appreciate. The No. 2 pick in the 2005 NBA Draft, Williams is enjoying what is arguably the finest season of his career.

For all that he’d done before joining the Hornets, including helping start the Atlanta Hawks’ Eastern Conference-best streak of nine straight playoff appearances, everything fell into place for him upon his return to North Carolina, his home away from home.

Marvin joins us to talk about his basketball past, present and future and much more on Episode 233 of The Hang Time Podcast, where we also talk about the Final Four, the latest and craziest involving the Los Angeles Lakers (yes you D’Angelo Russell and Nick “Swaggy P” Young, trying to steal the spotlight from Kobe Bryant at the end of his farewell tour). 

Check out all that and more on Episode 233 of The Hang Time Podcast featuring Marvin Williams.

LISTEN HERE:

As always, we welcome your feedback. You can follow the entire crew, including the Hang Time Podcast, co-hosts Sekou Smith of NBA.com, Lang Whitaker of NBA.com’s All-Ball Blog and renaissance man Rick Fox of NBA TV, as well as our new super producer Gregg (just like Popovich) Waigand.

– To download the podcast, click here. To subscribe via iTunes, click here, or get the xml feed if you want to subscribe some other, less iTunes-y way.

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VIDEO: Marvin Williams rises up to deny his former North Carolina teammate Raymond Felton

Wolves’ Johnson staying positive


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Posted by Drew Packham

LAS VEGAS — After tweaking a hamstring in his Wolves debut earlier in the week, Wesley Johnson has spent the past five days in street clothes. But one thing hasn’t changed: his ever-present smile.

Johnson — the Wolves’ No. 4 pick out of Syracuse — talked glowingly of his debut, reminiscing about Monday’s 10-point performance.
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“It was everything I expected,” said Johnson, who played just 10 minutes in the Wolves’ 85-61 loss earlier in the week. “I felt jitters, excitement. There are a lot of emotions running through your mind and body. I went out there and just tried to stay as composed as possible, but it was fun.”

Johnson was looking forward to “showcasing” his talents, but instead is left watching helplessly from the bench.

“It’s very frustrating,” Johnson said. “Training all this time to come out here to showcase my skills. I came out here to just play and have fun, so to be stuck on the sidelines being a spectator is definitely hard.”

Despite the hamstring injury, Johnson is upbeat about the Wolves’ upcoming season, especially to play alongside fellow Syracuse product Jonny Flynn.

“I’m just gonna go out there and be a sponge with anything Kurt (Rambis) throws at me,” Johnson said. “I’m gonna try to learn as much as I can from my teammates.

“Not too many guys get drafted into a situation where you have a good friend on the same team, so I’m blessed to have that situation,” Johnson said. “We already have a chemistry in practice and everything.”

And no matter how many games the Wolves win in Johnson’s rookie season, you can bet on one thing.

“We’re definitely gonna have a lot of fun this season,” Johnson said with — what else? — a smile. “It’s definitely gonna be fun.”