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John Williams
Replace this image male.svg
Power forward/Center
Born August 9, 1962 (1962-08-09) (age 47)
Sorrento, Louisiana
Nationality American
Listed height 6 ft 11 in (2.11 m)
Listed weight 245 lb (111 kg)
College Tulane
Draft 2nd round, 45th overall, 1985
Cleveland Cavaliers
Pro career 1985 –1999
Former teams Cleveland Cavaliers (1986-1995)
Phoenix Suns (1995-1998)
Dallas Mavericks (1998-1999)

John "Hot Rod" Williams (born August 9, 1962 in Sorrento, Louisiana) is a retired American professional basketball player in the NBA who had a 13-year career from 1986 to 1999.

Williams, a 6' 11" power forward/center out of Tulane University, was selected by the Cleveland Cavaliers in the 1985 NBA Draft with the 21st pick of the second round. He has also been a member of the Phoenix Suns and Dallas Mavericks.

Williams got the nickname "Hot Rod" as a baby due to his habit of scooting backwards across the floor while making engine-like sounds. Williams had a solid career at Tulane, but it ended in controversy. On March 27, 1985, Williams was arrested for suspicion of point shaving. According to the indictment, Williams accepted at least $8,550 for manipulating point spreads in games against Southern Miss, Memphis State, and Virginia Tech. Williams was charged with sports bribery and conspiracy; his first trial ended with a mistrial, but his during his second trial a jury found him not guilty of all five counts.[1]

However, due to the trial, Williams spent the 1985-86 season playing for the United States Basketball League. Able to play for the Cavs the next year, Williams was named to the NBA all-rookie team for the 1986-1987 season, along with teammates Ron Harper and Brad Daugherty. Perhaps Williams' finest season occurred in 1989, when he average 16.8 points, 8.1 rebounds, and 2.04 blocked shots per game while mostly serving as the team's sixth man. Williams spent nine seasons with the Cavs before being traded to the Suns for Dan Majerle. Until 22 March 2009 he ranked as the Cavaliers' all time leader in blocked shots (1,200) (surpassed by Zydrunas Ilgauskas) and minutes played (20,802).

Williams is a member of Alpha Phi Alpha, the first intercollegiate Greek-letter organization established for African Americans.


  1. ^ SPORTS PEOPLE; No Second Thoughts, The New York Times, June 18, 1986, Accessed January 14, 2009.

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