Clippers (8-21) at Kings (7-24)
Scoring: Kings 21st (96), Clippers 28th (93.7).
Shooting: Kings tied for 16th (44.8 percent), Clippers 30th (42.6).
Scoring defense: Kings 28th (105.8), Clippers 20th (100.2).
Shooting defense: Kings 29th (47.9), Clippers tied for 11th (44.8).
Rebound differential: Kings 27th (minus-3.5), Clippers 26th (minus-3.2).
The link: Clippers coverage in the Los Angeles Times.
The almanac: On this date in 1961, Wilt Chamberlain of the Philadelphia Warriors scored 42 points, the 14th consecutive game in which he broke 40, a league record. On this date in 1971, the Lakers beat the SuperSonics to go 16-0 in December, the best record for a month in NBA history. On this date in 1990, Scott Skiles of the Magic had a league-record 30 assists against the Nuggets. On this date in 1997, Michael Jordan of the Bulls scored 33 points to break Kareem Abdul-Jabbar's record of 787 consecutive games in double figures.
That he isn't is part of the serpentine J-Will legacy: inconsistent talent and inconsistent dedication as a King, more grounded the longer he played, starting point guard for the championship Heat, signed a one-year contract with the Clippers in August only to quit in late September, a few days before camp opened. The Clips, aiming for the playoffs, were counting on him as Baron Davis' backup and had stopped pursuing others for that role. They got stood up.
He is his own man all the way the latest unique standing.
Once Williams quit, league officials, not wanting their own version of some Brett Favre retirement dance with the Packers, said Williams must sit out one calendar year. If he then decides he wants to play again, he must petition the Board of Governors for reinstatement. If that approval comes, the Clippers then would have the first shot at him, 72 hours to make a good-faith offer, presumably something close to the deal from summer '08.
At a time when teams begin shopping the sort-of retired/sort-of free-agent list -- P.J. Brown, Robert Horry, Dikembe Mutombo -- as part of ramping up for the second half and the playoffs, Williams is not an option. So much as calling his agent, Dan Tobin, to gauge interest could be tampering.
There would be interest if he could unretire on the spot and if he wanted to unretire. Point guards with championship experience are serious commodities. But it is moot for now because Williams has shown no desire to get back on the carousel. He has two kids, is expecting another in March and wants the family time over the court time by about a million fold, the reason he abruptly walked away in the first place. Life in South Florida yes, comeback no.
One asterisk: The players' union contends that the 365-day waiting period to apply for reinstatement is open to challenge. So if J-Will does re-consider as the playoffs get closer, and with Orlando and Miami both temptingly close with homes in both places, he might have an avenue to press the issue. The Clippers would just love that.
So far, though, Tobin reports that Williams has shown no interest in playing again. That's the first obstacle. Then the Board of Governors. Then the Clippers. The current life is much more simple.