Former NBA player John “Hot Rod” Williams has died at the age of 53, said the official report from the NBA.
The 6-foot-11 Williams died in a hospital, battling with complications related to prostate cancer, said the agent of Williams, Mark Bartelstein.
Williams spent his first 9 seasons with Cleveland Cavaliers, reaching a career-high averages of 16.8 ppg in 1989-90, and 8.3 rpg in 1996-97. Williams also played two seasons for the Phoenix Suns and one season with Dallas Mavericks.
He holds career averages of 11 ppg and 6.8 rpg in 29.7 mpg, appearing in total 887 NBA games (started in 518).
‘Hot Rod was the guy that willingly and pridefully drew the toughest defensive assignment,” the Cavaliers said in a statement. “He was the kind of talented, unselfish and versatile player and person that earned the respect of everyone around him, including his teammates and opponents, and those who knew and worked with him off the court as well.”
Williams’ agent said the former player was “a very simple guy, who loved the game.”
“Hot Rod was a great, caring and unselfish teammate,” said Danny Ferry, who was a teammate of Williams in Cleveland. “He was a team first guy. He was also a valuable, intelligent and very underrated player. He could defend anyone. We were all lucky to have him as a teammate and friend.”
The Suns lauded Williams as the “consummate teammate and a player who took great pride in his game, especially in doing the little things to help the team win.”
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