Denver Nuggets A to Z: Reggie Williams

Veteran swingman was leader for historic 1993-94 team
by Aaron Lopez

According to Basketball Reference, 55 players with the last name Williams have suited up for an NBA team.

You could create a starting lineup and a second unit with the ones who played in Denver.

Continuing a month-long tribute to the most memorable and notable players in franchise history, we are taking a look at the Nuggets from A to Z.

W is for Williams.

From Aaron to Shelden, there have been 10 Williams – Williamses? – to play for the Nuggets since Denver joined the NBA in 1976. Chuck, Eric, Monty, Pete, Reggie, Rob, Scott and Shammond are the other eight.

The most accomplished of that group was Reggie Williams, a wiry small forward who served as the veteran leader on the historic 1993-94 team that upset the top-seeded Seattle SuperSonics in the first round of the Western Conference playoffs.

Selected fourth overall by the Los Angeles Clippers in the 1987 NBA Draft, Williams bounced from L.A. to the Cleveland Cavaliers to the San Antonio Spurs before signing as a free agent with Denver on Jan. 5, 1991.

Williams immediately found his niche in Denver’s uptempo system, averaging 16.1 points and 4.8 rebounds in 51 games with the Nuggets that season.

The rise continued in 1991-92 as Williams led Denver in scoring (18.2 ppg) while playing alongside NBA All-Rookie First Team center Dikembe Mutombo. The Nuggets added more young talent when they drafted LaPhonso Ellis and Bryant Stith in 1992 and Rodney Rogers in 1993.

At 29 years old, Williams was the oldest player on Denver’s roster when the Nuggets secured the No. 8 seed in the 1994 playoffs. They lost the first two games against heavily favored Seattle before Williams scored 31 points to help shift the momentum in Denver’s Game 3 rout at McNichols Arena.

The Nuggets went on to win Games 4 and 5, becoming the first No. 8 seed in NBA history to advance out of the first round. Williams averaged 14.3 points during Denver’s playoff run that ended with a Game 7 loss to the Utah Jazz in the conference semifinals.

Williams went on to play two more seasons with the Nuggets before being traded to the Indiana Pacers on June 13, 1996. He returned to Denver last spring as the Nuggets celebrated the 20th anniversary of the 1993-94 team.

Game to remember, Dec. 1, 1992

Williams hit his first nine shots en route to a career-high 35 points as the Nuggets beat the Houston Rockets 112-105 at McNichols Arena. Williams scored 18 points on 8-for-8 shooting in the first quarter. Dikembe Mutombo (15 points, 17 rebounds) and LaPhonso Ellis (15 points, 11 rebounds) added double-doubles for Denver.


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