Marvin Williams spreads his arms, grinning with a face full of emphatic joy as he embraces Matt Rochinski of hornets.com. That was not the only person Marvin shared an intimate moment with. He did so with numerous other employees at the Spectrum Center Sunday afternoon in his first return back to Charlotte, now as a member of the Milwaukee Bucks. He took time to talk to and embrace numerous people whether it was ball boys, doormen, cooks, and several other employees at the Spectrum Center.
Marvin is a man of the people. The impact he left in Charlotte will be felt equally between what he did off the court – the relationships he made and cherished and the lives he impacted – as well as his game on the court.
I asked Marvin Sunday before the game if he had a favorite memory that stuck out to him during his six-year tenure with the Hornets. Marvin’s answer was classic Marvin.
“I don’t have a favorite memory,” he told The Painted Lines. “The thing I’m most thankful for is just the people. The guys I get to be around every single day, to work with, to just be around. And it is not just my teammates. It’s everyone in the organization, people in this building, and people in the community. I feel like that’s the one thing I’ll miss the most.”
Borrego speaks on Marvin’s Hornets’ legacy
Hornets head coach James Borrego did not have a specific ‘Marvin moment’ that stuck out to him either. JB’s lasting memory of Marvin was the effect he had as a veteran leader for a young Hornets team.
“There’s a lot of things with Marv,” Borrego replied when asked what his most cherished memory was. “One thing is the way he takes over a huddle. That’s one thing I’ll always remember about Marv. The way he can ignite a huddle in a timeout.
“When it comes from the players of your team, it has more juice, more impact than anything I can say,” Borrego said. “More than anything any coach can say. Marv is one of those guys that would step up in a huddle and really rally the troops.”
Leaving an everlasting impact
Many NBA vets have often echoed a similar sentiment upon retiring or being traded from a team in which they had a lengthy tenure. That sentiment is that they know they have succeeded by seeing how the young players they left behind learned, developed, and progressed from their teachings.
Bismack Biyombo explained last Wednesday that one specific thing Marvin would typically do was bring the young guys with him to the gym. They would get extra shots up, lift, and train outside of the mandatory team practices and shootarounds. Biyombo said that the young guys are now going on their own just as much now since Williams’ departure.
Marvin was emphatic when it was explained to him what the young guys have been doing in his absence and how the impact he left was already bearing fruits.
“That makes me feel good,” Williams said with a smile. “That makes me feel like I’ve done my job. I tell guys that if the young guys just take one thing that I tried to teach them while I was here, then I felt like I had done my job as a veteran in the locker room. Knowing that they’re still doing the things that I tried to show them and teach them, definitely makes me feel good.”
Marvin Williams’ teammates all gave Marvin immense credit for how far they’ve come individually. It goes to show that Marv is a prime example of how a player’s legacy goes beyond what their statistics reveal
In six years with the Hornets, Williams averaged 9.7 points, 5.3 rebounds, and 1.3 assists, shooting 37.8 percent from three in 429 games. He exceeded everything the numbers illustrate.
“Just (Marvin) being here [is what I’ll miss the most],” Devonte’ Graham explained. “He and Billy [Hernangomez] would always come in here yelling with good energy. Just his vibe like when he walks in he always has a smile on his face.”
“Fifteen years is a long time [to be in the league],” Graham said. “He would just do the little things. You’d see him in here early getting his shots up, always after practice. He always tells the rookies, ‘You gotta get your shots up.’ Marv was always in the weight room taking care of his body.”
Marvin Williams showed his Hornets teammates what you have to do to sustain a 15-year NBA career. He has already tripled the 4.5-year average career length for an NBA player.
“Marv was always talking in the huddles and making sure everyone was going, especially at halftime,” Graham added. “He would always hold guys to a certain standard and shows guys what it takes to compete and stay in this league.”
Cody Zeller likely spent the most time with Marvin during his tenure in Charlotte
“I’ve spent so much time with Marvin,” stated Cody Zeller. Cody and Marvin were noted to be very close as they spent over five years together in Charlotte. “We have good memories in games, on the practice court, off the court, and on road trips. He’s a wonderful person and a great friend. I’ll miss him off of the court the most for sure.”
Miles Bridges’ favorite ‘Marv moment’ was last year when he took a dunk in the fountain of youth
“Last year Marv had 30 on the Wizards,” Bridges reminisced Sunday with a pleasant look of nostalgia. “He had a put-back dunk where he came out of nowhere. He just started screaming at the crowd. It was crazy.
“Marvin is a great great dude. My favorite teammate ever. I’m gonna miss him a lot.”