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Williams glad to be back in Atlanta, wishes he could play

Published January 11, 2013 11:49 am

This is an archived article that was published on sltrib.com in 2013, and information in the article may be outdated. It is provided only for personal research purposes and may not be reprinted.

Atlanta • For a guy widely considered a bust, Marvin Williams is reminded fondly in Atlanta.

But the first-year Jazz small forward has no idea how he'll be received Friday at Philips Arena his first time back here since being traded to the Jazz for Devin Harris.

"Atlanta fans have been great," Williams said. "We've definitely given them reasons to cheer, we've given them reasons to boo, as well."

Williams will not play, missing his second straight game due to inflammation of his right knee. All week Williams said he was "very disappointed" to miss the homecoming.

"I've looked at it more as a fun game," he said, "as opposed to a game where I've got to show them what they're missing out on." He was still the most popular interview, though, at the Jazz's morning shoot around, where he credited the Hawks for giving him a chance to start his career and thanked the Jazz for allowing him to continue it.

"They gave me an opportunity to live out my dream," he said, "so I'll be forever grateful to the Atlanta Hawks for doing that. I'm a member of the Utah Jazz now and I like where I'm out. I'm really enjoying my time out there, so hopefully I can stay out there as long as [I was] here." The Hawks selected Williams No. 2 overall in the 2005 draft out of North Carolina. He never grew into the player they envisioned and never scored more than 14.8 points per game. With the Jazz, however, he is enduring one of the worst seasons of his career. His 8.9 points per game is the lowest since his rookie year, when he scored 8.5 points as a 19-year-old.

— Bill Oram