This will probably be the most I’ve ever consistently written about the Duke Blue Devils in my entire life, but it’s something that I needto discuss . If you had a heartbeat, you probably heard about the shot heard ’round the world on Wednesday night, as Austin Rivers put the team on his back and put the North Carolina Tar Heels out of their misery with a game-winning three. It was jaw-dropping to watch, and surreal to see, because it took me back to a previous time with a dynamic Duke point guard leading a comeback over a rival.
My little cousins, Adrian and Puddy, are 15 and 16 years old. Both are bright kids are into sports, and I genuinely get a kick out of talking to them to hear their views of the game. The other day, they gave their “Uncle Ed” a call to check up on the old man and see how the broken leg and I were doing.
Adrian and I chopped it up, and I was unaware that my mind was about to be blown.
Adrian: “Ed, did you watch the Duke/UNC game last night?”
Ed: “You know it. Crazy stuff, man.”
Adrian: “North Carolina really blew the game, didn’t they?”
Ed: “Yep, reminded me of Jay Williams awhile back.”
Ed: “Jay Williams. You know, Jason Williams? Came back from ten down with less than a minute versus Maryland? A comeback for the ages, my man.”
Adrian: “Oh, you’re talking about the white boy point guard that wears #55, right?”
In fairness, I can’t expect my 15-year-old cousin to remember an event that happened when he was four, but damn; I felt old. Jay(son) Williams was one of the Duke players that I hated the most. Being 18 years old at the time, I don’t even really know why I hated him, other than he played for Duke and seemed to be a robot at always saying the right things. For a two-year period, he was the best player in college basketball, and it was only a question of not if, but when, he would kill it in the league. A motorcycle accident destroyed his knee, and he was basically done after one year of service in the Association. So now its up to me to school my little cousins about the legend of Jay Williams, starting with this article.
What Jay Williams did in that comeback was one of the more shocking things I’d ever seen. A lay-up, a three, a three and two bum-ass Nate James free throws later, it was a tie game. In overtime, Coach K trusted Williams to lead them to victory. In a game where, prior to the 10-point comeback, Williams was having an abominable outing. When Maryland’s Juan Dixon drove the ball to the rim on the last play of the game, only to have Shane Battier block it, I cussed and kicked over tables, because Duke had done it again. It was an absolutely surreal thing to watch.
Austin Rivers had his Jay Williams moment on Wednesday, and Duke took out their most-famous rival in epic fashion. Hopefully, Rivers will stay off the damn motorcycles in the future and, hopefully, Duke doesn’t win a championship this season.