Most people who haven’t played competitive basketball in five years don’t make NBA rosters via public tryouts. But that’s exactly what 28-year-old Art “Hambone” Williams did for his hometown San Diego Rockets in 1967. Following three good seasons, Red Auerbach acquired Williams to be a backup guard. “They gave me a role to play, and I played it. We were like a family,” Williams said. He didn’t play much during the 1973-74 regular season, but Williams came up big in the playoffs. He recorded eight rebounds and eight assists in just 19 minutes in Game 5 of the semifinals, then picked up five more assists in just 13 minutes in Game 3 of the Eastern Conference Finals. Williams’ role helped the Celtics claim their 12th NBA World Championship title.
( C ) NBA/Celtics (photo by Heritage Werks)