NBA Player Profiles: Buck Williams, NBA Great
He was the NBA Rookie of the Year, is currently the Nets’ all-time leading scorer, he is a rare player with over 13,000 NBA points and rebounds, his real name is Charles Linwood Williams but all NBA fans knew him as Buck.
16,784 career NBA points, 13,017 rebounds, 1,080 steals and 1,100 blocks, Buck Williams was an impressive player in the NBA paint. A six-foot-eight power forward who was built like a rock, he had a career shooting percentage of 55%. He shot over 50% for every season of his 17-season career. He also led the league twice in field goal percentage in the early 1990s when he shot 60%. He was an amazing, although underrated, player.
If there was something the Nets did a lot it was miss on their draft picks. Buck Williams was not one of those busts. He was the third pick in 1981, taken after Mark Aguirre and Isiah Thomas. He beat them, as well as Tom Chambers and Kelly Tripucka to be Rookie of the Year. Williams also made the All-Star team, and did it again the next year and later in 1986. In his first six NBA seasons, Buck Williams missed only one game. He was a great Net, but the Nets were not great. Buck Williams was built for playoff basketball, and a trade on June 24, 1989 got him to the right place for that. It also netted the Nets center Sam Bowie and a pick they used on Mookie Blaylock. Buck’s averages as a Net are 16.4 points and 11.9 rebounds.
Buck Williams was traded to Portland, and he was the leader and tough power forward they needed to get to the finals. He was very dependable, playing 80 or more games in his first six seasons in Portland. He didn’t play as much as he did as a Net, around 31 minutes a game, but he didn’t have to as Portland had depth with Clifford Robinson and Mark Bryant, but he still played as well as before. He gave them 10 points and 9 rebounds, and shot the same 55% from the field as he did in New Jersey. After fifteen seasons he still had something to offer, and Buck signed with the Knicks to be a backup to Patrick Ewing for a couple of seasons.
Williams is in the top 20 for career total rebounds. He has more than Barkley, Rodman, Ewing, Laimbeer or David Robinson. Shaq finished his career with only 82 more total rebounds than Buck had. He also made four NBA All-Defensive teams, and the 1983 All-NBA Second Team. He may not be listed among the best ever power forwards in the NBA, but when people think of someone to defend those players and battle them for rebounds Buck would be someone who gets a mention.