Mo Williams stood outside of his locker with the look of dejection, dissatisfaction and dispair. Over the past two games, the team’s veteran leader has combined for 5-of-23 (21.7 percent) from the floor. And following last night’s 95-87 loss to the New Jersey Nets, a game where Williams suffered yet another injury to his groin, the emotional Williams we all saw in the preseason was most certainly back.
“I’m thinking a lot of things right now,” said Williams. “When an injury comes back, a lot of things go through your mind. It’s emotional for me because I’m thinking about so much stuff.”
Recall, Williams was caught in a he said-he said battle with a Yahoo! Sports reporter who claimed that Williams considered retirement following the departure of LeBron James via free agency. And while Williams would go on to say that the quotes within the report were taken out of context – ”Yes, at some point I’m going to retire” – there was no doubt that fans saw a new side of Williams, one who not only wore his heart on his sleeve, but one who undeniably appeared to be impacted by the events of the summer.
Williams took to Twitter this summer about family issues that had been weighing on him, something he chose to not go into detail about citing appreciation but that the matters were indeed personal.
Unfortunately for Williams, the issues and likely coinciding mental dispair compounded just a few weeks later when he injured his groin in a practice session. While he was to be back by the start of the season, something he had also mentioned on the day he cleared the air about the retirement talks, head coach Byron Scott opted to be a little more precautionary with his starting point guard.
Then came the passing of his father-in-law, something that Williams again would not talk much about due to the personal nature of the event.
Alas, Williams would miss all of October, giving way to Ramon Sessions for the first three contests. Early in his return, Williams provided a spark to his team via nights of 22 and 28 points against Philadelphia and Washington, respectively. On his down night against the Nets on the road, while Williams was not able to get his shot going, he was still facilitating the offense and tied his season-high seven assists.
But Wednesday night was definitely different.
Williams shared a few words while getting dressed, as he is the consummate professional, but left the locker room and Quicken Loans Arena promptly after the cameras were turned off. Last season, he would have been found joking around with teammates, singing off-tune karaoke and trying to decide where he and several other members of the Wine and Gold would be going to dinner.
Instead, we hear about all of the “things” on Williams’ mind as he sets a goal for a Saturday return. Unfortunately, recent past has already set a bit of a precedent with Cavalier injuries as Williams missed a month with his first groin injury and Antawn Jamison missed several games with swelling behind his knee.
If one thing is for certain, Williams’ groin injury will heal through time. Cavalier fans just have to hope that whatever is going on inside his head can be cured the same way.
(AP Photo/Mark Duncan)