Don’t Count Derrick Williams Out Yet
Derrick Williams’ introduction to the NBA has been challenging, to say the least, but he’s not allowing the situation to get him down.
“No, it doesn’t (wear on me),” Williams tells HOOPSWORLD. “I think a lot of people just try and put too much pressure on different guys, but you know it’s not like our team was bad when I got here. We have a good team. We started 4-2 and we’ve had a lot of injuries. Most of the time when you have such a high pick, the team is not very good, and you’re out there averaging twenty to twenty-five points but your team is losing. But, you know, we’re winning, and that’s the main thing. It’s not about stats, and all that. As long as we’re winning, everyone is happy.”
The Timberwolves were, indeed, winning early, even as injuries mounted, but struggled as player after player went down due to a variety of injuries. Still, even as Kevin Love was sidelined and Williams was filling in at power forward, Love spent a great deal of time mentoring his young teammate and trying to accelerate his growth process.
“Yeah, having Kevin, I’m in the same position that K-Lo was in when he was a rookie and a sophomore,” says Williams. “He had Al Jefferson. He learned from him for those couple years, and I’m in the same position he was where I’m learning from him now. It really does help me out, a lot, even though he’s injured, talking to me on the bench, ‘maybe you can do this, maybe you can do that.’ Little things like that, and it’s always good, especially when you have an All-Star, an Olympian, that just can help you day in, day out. Not just on the court, but mentally, him being here with us, the whole time, he’s not just helping me, he’s helping everybody. So I think that’s the good thing about him.”