Nets All-Time Top 25: No. 9 John Williamson

The selections for the Nets All-Time Top 25 Team were made by the author, with no input from the Brooklyn Nets organization. Selections were based on a combination of individual performance, team success and their contribution to it, and longevity with the franchise.

John Williamson didn’t need anybody to give him a nickname.

“Super John” was what he called himself, and it stuck. Why wouldn’t it? Supreme confidence drove John Williamson and delivered one of the signature moments in Nets history.

The explosive counterpart to Julius Erving on two ABA championship teams, Williamson brought home the second title – the last in ABA history — with a spectacular performance against the Denver Nuggets.

With the championship series seemingly headed for a Game 7 in Denver – and the fate of the league and the franchise still to be determined – Williamson took over in the second half of Game 6 at the Nassau Coliseum. The Nets trailed by 22 points in the second half, but Williamson scored 24 in the half, including 16 in the fourth quarter, to finish with 28 points as the Nets won 112-106 in the final game of the league’s nine-year history.

Williamson’s Nets arrival had coincided with Erving’s for the 1973-74 season. After starring at New Mexico State, Williamson averaged 14.5 points to earn a spot on the ABA’s All-Rookie team and help the Nets to their first ABA title.

With Erving traded to Philadelphia on the eve of the 1976-77 season and the franchise’s NBA debut, Williamson emerged as the Nets top scorer in his fourth pro season, averaging 20.8 points per game. But he too was soon on the move, traded to Indiana after 42 games.

Less than a year later, Williamson was back, reaquired from Indiana midway through the 1977-78 season. He remained through the 1979-80 season before being traded to Washington, with whom he completed his career the following season.

In four full seasons and parts of three others with the Nets, Williamson averaged 17.8 points and is sixth on the franchise’s all-time scoring list with 7,202 points. He is one of only four Nets to have played on both ABA championship teams and one of six players in franchise history to have his number retired.