NBA: Ex-Cavs standout ‘Hot Rod’ Williams dies of cancer
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NEW YORK – John ”Hot Rod” Williams, a standout top reserve for the Cleveland Cavaliers during a 13-season NBA career, has died of cancer, the league confirmed on Friday. He was 53.
Williams, a power forward who played with the Cavaliers from 1986 to 1995 and later suited up for Phoenix and Dallas, averaged 11 points, 6.8 rebounds, 1.8 assists and 1.6 blocked shots.
Williams, who had been diagnosed with prostate cancer last June, was arrested in 1985 on accusations of point shaving in games during his college career at Tulane University.
After a mistrial, a second sports bribery and conspiracy trial saw him declared innocent on all charges.
In 1990, Williams signed a seven-year deal worth $26.5 million with Miami to become what was then the top-paid player in NBA history.
The Cavaliers matched the epic offer and Williams stayed, but Cleveland’s title dreams were constantly thwarted. In seven playoff trips with the Cavs, Williams lost five times to Chicago, including the 1992 Eastern Conference finals.
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