Raptors forward Jerome Williams, one of our NBA.commentators for NBA Playoffs 2001, answered questions from fans immediately following the Raptors' Game 5 victory over the Knicks. Toronto won the Eastern Conference first-round series against New York 3-2.
(I hope you heard us (the Raptor fans) screaming at our TV sets while
watching the first game "Put JYD in the Game!" We truly hope you come
back next season.)
How do you, as a team, psych up for such an important game under the
intense pressure from the media and fans?
I think that we really just carried that momentum from our fourth game in Toronto with all those cheering fans out there. That really energized this team and we wanted to come out and continue that.
Hey dude, what's with the headbands? From the moment I saw it on TV I
thought "JYD planned this". Was it really you who came up with the idea
or what? Maybe the Leafs should start wearing headbands as
I think we just needed a little something extra, to really just motivate this team, to have togetherness and for everybody to show support for one another. The headbands brought us all together.
I was in on the planning, but I have to give it up to Chris Childs and Keon Clark who also had their hands in it.
How does a team come back together and win a game after all the criticism on a team member?
Union City, N.J.
I think that it brought us together. Sometimes a little adversity can show what a team's made of and what kind of hearts there are on this team. We showed our heart by sticking together and playing through all that adversity.
Wassup JYD??! You guys were amazing last night in Game 4! You really
energized the team and the Raps were really on a role. When you guard
a player like Glen Rice or Allan Houston, what is your game plan in
preventing them from making their shots? PS. Can't wait to see that
famous Williams meatloaf on the Food Network. Keep up the good work and
The main thing is you want to stay up on them and really pressure them on the defensive end and make it hard for them to just catch and shoot the ball. You want to make them put the ball on the floor. That's what we tried to do -- we tried to force them to the middle where our help was and hopefully we can hinder their shot a little bit.
Is Spike Lee really annoying to players when they play the Knicks at
Madison Square Garden?
Do you think he suffers from a kind of short man syndrome -- he being
so short and basketball being a game for big men?
I think he's a staple here. He's definitely not annoying. You always enjoy dedicated fans. He's a dedicated fan; he's a great guy and hopefully one day I can star in one of his movies!
Do you have time to enjoy your first-round victory over the Knicks or are you already looking ahead to the Sixers?
West Boylston, Mass.
We've got about 12 hours and then it's back to the drawing board, back to work. Back to the junkyard.