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A native of the state of Washington, Marvin Williams is returning to his North Carolina roots.
The 10-year forward was officially introduced as a member of the Charlotte Hornets on Monday during a special press conference.
â€śIâ€™m really excited to be here,â€ť Williams said on Monday. â€śI thank everyone for coming out. It is great to be back in North Carolina and to be in the city of Charlotte playing for the Hornets. Iâ€™m really excited. Iâ€™m looking forward to getting started.â€ť
General Manager Rich Cho is excited to add Williams to the Hornets roster and believes Williams is still in the prime of his career.
â€ś(Williams) adds a lot of versatility to our frontcourt with his ability to play small forward and power forward,â€ť Cho said. â€śHeâ€™s also a guy thatâ€™s really improved throughout the years. Just as an example, in the 2007-08 season, he was 1-for-10 from beyond the arc. Over the last three years, heâ€™s really improved that. He shot roughly 36 percent from 3-point range on close to 550 attempts.â€ť
Cho expects Williams to use his 6-foot-9 frame to stretch the floor with his shooting.
Williams is reunited with former Utah Jazz teammate and second-year Hornets center Al Jefferson.
â€śAl is such a dominant presence in the post,â€ť Williams said. â€śI donâ€™t know if there is a center that can guard Al by himself. He definitely demands a double team, especially when he catches it on the low blocks. I think for me I can benefit personally and help Al, as well, by kind of spacing and knocking down shots for him so they donâ€™t have to double. If you can put a lot of good perimeter shooting around Big Al, I think we can make it very difficult for other teams to try to slow us down.â€ť
Jefferson isnâ€™t the only former team member that Williams will be familiar with in Charlotte.
â€śI played with Janerro Pargo in Atlanta. He and I are pretty cool,â€ť Williams said. â€śObviously, Al. I got an opportunity to work with (Hornets assistant coach) Mark Price in Atlanta. He and I are pretty cool, as well.â€ť
A member of the 2005 National Championship menâ€™s basketball team at the University of North Carolina, Williams has remained close with his former Tar Heel teammates, especially a pair of former Charlotte Bobcats.
â€śI actually live with Sean (May) in the summer time,â€ť Williams said. â€śHe and I live together in Chapel Hill. We train with Ray (Felton) every single day. Heâ€™s got a really nice house out there, so we spend a lot of time at his place.â€ť
Williams said he also stays in touch with former UNC basketball standouts Jawad Williams, David Noel and Jackie Manuel, as well as coach Wes Miller.
â€śThere are a ton of us that live in that area,â€ť Williams said of his Tar Heel connections. â€śWe are definitely close.â€ť
Perhaps the biggest of the Tar Heels in the area â€” Michael Jordan â€” is what helped land Williams in a Hornets uniform.
â€śI feel like we have mutual respect for each other,â€ť Williams said of his relationship with Jordan. â€śIâ€™m sure Iâ€™ll be seeing a lot more of him. Itâ€™ll be good seeing him, as well.â€ť
Cho said after Williamsâ€™ signing that the Hornets are nearly finished with free agency and prepared heading into the 2014-15 season.
â€śWe are almost done, but weâ€™ll always be looking to improve the team, too,â€ť Cho said.
Williams is hoping to be a part of something special with the recently reincarnated Hornets franchise.
â€śI watched the guys during the playoff run. I really felt like the city of Charlotte kind of jumped on your back, and they saw something special here,â€ť Williams said. â€śI feel like I wanted to be a part of that. Iâ€™m really excited that I have a chance to be a part of something like that.â€ťView more articles in: