Kenny Williamson Rumors
Sources repeatedly have told The Post that Shea and former Knicks scout Scott McGuire tried to steer Tapscott away from Weis. Shea admits he was against drafting Ron Artest because of hometown distractions, but won’t confirm his feelings on drafting Weis. “I’m always going to be associated with Frederic and I’m never going to say publicly what happened,’’ Shea said. “We made a team decision. We were seven people and we all voted and I’m not telling who voted for whom. Scott had an opinion. Kenny Williamson, may he rest in peace, had an opinion. Ed had an opinion and you’re not going to get that from me. What happened later to him in summer league had much more an effect on Frederic than who decided to draft him.’’
Austin said former Memphis Grizzlies assistant general manager Kenny Williamson, who died in 2012, had strong interest in Curry with the second overall pick. Austin, however, declined an invitation from Williamson for a workout. The Grizzlies used the second overall pick to draft Connecticut’s 7-foot-3 center Hasheem Thabeet, who ended up being a bust. Now Curry is playing against the Grizzlies in the second round of the playoffs with Game 2 on Tuesday. Williamson “said he needed him down for a workout to convince the owner,” Austin said. ” ‘Without a workout, I can’t get him. But if he comes in and works out, I want to push him for our No. 2 pick.’ We chose not to have him go to Memphis. The two big believers were Larry and Kenny.”
Lionel Hollins (coach, Grizzlies): Before Egg even came to the team I was working for Adidas. I took a team to Germany for the Albert Schweitzer games. Before I could say hello to him, everybody in the gym was saying hello to him, and he was talking loud like he always does. We were in Germany, and everybody knew Eggman! Before we even got over there people were asking, ‘is Eggman coming?’
Allan Houston (assistant general manager, New York Knicks): It’s really hard to find authentic people. I don’t care if it’s a teammate, a coach. It’s really hard to find authentic people that don’t have a motive. Eggman was a part of my family before I even thought about being in the NBA. My dad (longtime coach Wade Houston), Tap, Leonard Hamilton, all of them, they all hung out together, before black folks were getting head coaching jobs, and they were recruiting at Louisville and Florida State. When he was between coaching jobs he actually stayed at our house when I was little. I would always hear stories about how Egg would call. He had a whole wealth of knowledge that he would share, and it was freely given.
Sam Cassell (Assistant coach, Washington Wizards; recruited to Florida State by Williamson): I was playing at a junior college, San Jacinto. He came down there and our coach at the time had what he called talking time, a talk period where D-1 coaches could talk to you. Eggman came down and coach told him, ’15 minutes, Kenny.’ He said, ‘boy, you can come to Florida State.’ I didn’t know anything about Florida State basketball. You couldn’t tell me what conference they was in. But he said ‘you coming to Florida State. I’ve got a situation that’s perfect for you.’ I said, ‘if I do come to Florida State, what would be my role?’ He said, ‘how many points do you score now?’ I said about 22, 23 a game. And he said ‘I want you to try average 22 points at Florida State. And we’re moving to the ACC next year. And you can play on Tobacco Road for eight games.’ That did it for me. I didn’t tell him that, but that did it.
Everyone knew his nickname, and everyone was aware of him when he was in the arena courtside. Kenny Williamson, nicknamed “Eggman,” was one of basketball’s great characters. He died Tuesday morning after a long battle with cancer. The Memphis Grizzlies assistant general manager touched hundreds — if not many, many more — in the NBA, college and high school basketball communities. When his death was reported, it made people from across the country pause. Coaches such as KU’s Bill Self and staff members Norm Roberts and Doc Sadler, as well as Kentucky’s John Calipari, knew him well. They were all saddened by the news. “Egg had a great spirit,” said Eastern Michigan coach Rob Murphy, a former Syracuse assistant. “Whenever I would see him or communicate with Egg, it seemed he would not allow his ailment to beat him as he continued to live upbeat and was positive while knowing the seriousness of his situation the past year. Egg will be missed, to say the least.”
Williamson didn’t big-time me pre-ESPN, nor did he beg for my attention once I moved to ESPN. He was always thrilled to see you, chat, and discuss players and the game.
“He mentored a lot of young African-American coaches behind the scenes,” Barone said. “His message was that you have a great job, do your best and be a great coach. But more importantly, he wanted them to teach players about life. There aren’t a lot of people like him. Whether you were a friend or not, he always had time for you. There aren’t enough people like that in the sports world or in general.”
Barone said that Williamson didn’t feel well Monday and didn’t come into the office. More tumors were found when he had a scan. Barone went to see him late Monday night. He passed away Tuesday morning. Barone’s office was next to Williamson’s. “He was a people person,” said Barone, who choked up when discussing his good friend. “Everyone knew Kenny. He did a lot of things behind the scenes that nobody knew. He knew everyone’s name from the mail person to the ticket seller to the usher. He knew everybody, and everybody knew him. He made it a special part of his day to say hello to everybody.”
Quincy Pondexter: R.I.P Kenny “eggman” Williamson. Great man that always kept it real with you. One of a kind! Gone but NEVER forgotten.
Agent Larry Fox on the passing of Kenny Williamson, assistant GM of the Grizzlies. “Kenny was one of the nicest, most genuine people in the business. He was a true family man and a person who if you met, you were better for it. He was a straight-shooter and you always got a direct answer from Kenny. He was great to hang out with adding his comedic wit and was a great story teller. He was one of the people in this business whom you could call a friend and not just a business colleague. The basketball world lost a legend today but more importantly, the world lost a great family man and outstanding person. It is a true loss for us all.”
A native New Yorker, he was a well-known fixture at historic Rucker Park in Harlem and was featured in the television basketball documentary “Hallowed Ground,” as well as an NBA-produced film on the Entertainers Basketball Classic at Rucker Park.
The basketball community lost a true treasure Tuesday with the passing of Grizzlies assistant general manager Kenny Williamson. Williamson, who was in his 60s, lost a battle with cancer. Affectionately known as “Eggman,” Williams was a devoted family man with 35 years of experience as a basketball coach, scout and executive on every level. “Anybody who has met him will never forget him,” Griz general manager Chris Wallace said. “He was a big personality and extremely well respected, and about as well known as you can get in basketball circles -– not only in this country but internationally.”