The Terrence Williams that Rick Pitino talks about seems an entirely different guy than the one who’s now on his fifth NBA team in four seasons with a recent stopover in China thrown in.
But Williams’ coach at Louisville thinks he knows why there has been so much travel, and he sees the not-so-merry-go-round coming to a pleasant stop. The former Celtics coach believes Williams, now on a 10-day contract, will find a home here after failed hopes with the Nets and brief runs with Houston and Sacramento, a training camp stint with Detroit and questions about his basketball character.
“You know, I had a great experience with him,” Pitino told the Herald in a phone interview. “He spent four years with me, and I had a really wonderful experience. He was the type of young man that whatever I asked him to do, he did.

“He was really low maintenance for me to coach. And I was surprised that I heard different in New Jersey. You know, if I asked him to not shoot and go out and get me 15 rebounds create eight or nine assists, whatever I asked him to do, he did. And it was that way for four years. He was a pleasure to coach.”
Pitino and Williams had a close relationship. The coach believes the lack of such ties in Williams’ early NBA days hurt his development.
Said Pitino: “What I told him after this latest thing where we went to China is, ‘Terrence, these guys aren’t going to get to know you like they do in college, where if there’s something wrong at home with your family, you have people who want to know all about it and help you. It’s the pros, and you’ve just got to understand that.’
“And although he wants to come across as a tough guy, he’s anything but that as a person. Now, he’ll play tough on the basketball court, but he wants friends and he wants really to be liked and he wants people to take an interest in him. That’s just the way he is. He was very, very popular in our town, very popular with his teammates. He just probably didn’t understand (how things are in the NBA), but I think he understands it now. I think he’s got a good grasp on that now.”
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