Celebrating 1990-91 - Scott Williams
Sam Smith recently spoke with Scott Williams, former player on the 1990-91 Chicago Bulls Championship team who shared his reflections on the season, twenty years later
When Scott Williams came to the Bulls as an undrafted free agent in the summer of 1990 out of the U. of North Carolina, the first thing he noticed was the team wide scowl. He liked it.
"The biggest thing was the attitude I saw that rookie year," said Williams. "They were hell bent on beating Detroit and they felt they needed home court advantage for a seven game series. So every game there was this focus of, 'We gotta win tonight.' Every practice it was the same kind of drum beat.
"As a rookie, I feel I fell right in line," said Williams. "I don't often use the word, but there was a hatred between the Bulls and Pistons. It didn't matter who, Isiah, Laimbeer, Dumars, Salley, Rodman. You knew every possession was going to be an all out war in the regular season and playoffs.
"Being undrafted, I came in with a chip on my shoulder," said Williams. "I felt every practice would be my game. That's the way I approached it and that was the kind of work ethic that whole team had."
Williams was one of Jerry Krause's best finds and went on to have a 15-year journeyman career with seven teams. He is a broadcaster now for the Phoenix Suns and excited to be there Saturday for the 20th anniversary celebration of that championship season. He said he is bringing his children, who never saw him play. "At least they'll get to see the guy I always tell them about," Williams said.
Williams had played in big ACC games at North Carolina and said he looked forward to the kind of big games the Bulls would be in as one of the valuable reserves for a deep team.
"Playing the Lakers in the Finals in my home town after all the scouts passed me by, winning a world championship the way we did with a bona fide Hall of Famer was special," said Williams. "It was one team goal and you felt you contributed whether in the game or practice and then to get the championship was the icing on the cake."
Like most members of that team, Williams says the games blend with so many others over the years, but there's that feeling he'll never forget, riding back to the team hotel in Marina del Rey.
"All the stress was just gone," Williams said. "Replaced with joy and this warm feeling. We were on a mission together and we accomplished that. And then you look back and we could have won every game in the playoffs. We lost that one in the Finals on a last second shot from Sam Perkins and one in Philadelphia on a late shot by Hersey Hawkins. Two baskets keeping us from a perfect post season.
"And then you sat down at the Ritz there," recalled Williams, "and it was, 'Whew, job well done.' What a feeling."