Patrick Williams Speaks: From "Handing out Gatorade" to Starting, Last-Minute Draft Buzz, Position Preference, More | Bleacher Nation

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Patrick Williams Speaks: From “Handing out Gatorade” to Starting, Last-Minute Draft Buzz, Position Preference, More

Chicago Bulls

Do your part. When Patrick Williams arrives in the Windy City to tip-off his Bulls career in a couple of weeks, that’s exactly what he plans to do.

The former Florida State forward came off as humble and self-aware in his first media interview following the Chicago Bulls No. 4 selection (full video at the end of this post), repeatedly mentioning his goal to provide a rebranding Bulls team with whatever help they needed.

“I pretty much told them I’m there to contribute,” Williams told reported on Wednesday night. “It’s kind of the same mindset I had at Florida State. I’m coming into contribute any way I can, whether that’s starting and playing big minutes or whether that’s coming off the bench [to] provide the spark or whether that’s handing out Gatorade. I’m just there to contribute and give them my all. That’s what I intend to do.”

Williams seems to understand the situation he and his new team are in, and it honestly comes off as pretty damn impressive. As one of the youngest players in this draft class, Williams simply seems ready to learn and ready to grow. I have to imagine that was a major selling point for Arturas Karnisovas and Marc Eversley, who just used a bulk of their offseason to bolster the franchise’s player development department.

They took the time to invest in a new coaching staff and player development crew specifically for players like Williams – young, high-upside talents who have a never-ending hunger for improvement. The ability to learn fast, quickly improve, and earn a bigger role seems to be Williams M.O. After all, he not only did that at Florida State, but also in the pre-draft process, as Williams continued to rise up draft boards month after month.

“It taught me how to do your part,” Williams said when discussing his sixth-man role at Florida State. Whatever your part is, whether that’s coming off the bench or starting and playing big minutes, it just taught me to do my part and do it well. Coming off the bench, I started with maybe 12 minutes, and I think you see I did well with those 12 minutes. And then toward the end of the season, those minutes increased. I kind of just embraced that role. I mean, in the NBA it is all about roles. Everybody can’t be a LeBron James on Day 1 or a Michael Jordan from a Day 1, so you got to embrace your role and do your role well. And, then, you’re trusted with more.”

Trust – that’s what Bulls fans need to have in Williams and the new front office. And comments like the ones above demonstrate William’s desire to earn that trust (Michael: Personally, I’m a little concerned that he said LeBron James before Michael Jordan – nice save – but I’ll give him the benefit of the doubt).

Make no mistake, though, Williams isn’t timid. While he emphasized the importance of listening and growing, he showed no lack of confidence in his own ability to make an immediate impact. The 6’8″ forward said the Bulls are leaning on him to do what he does best, and that’s to be a versatile talent. More specifically, Williams told reporters the following, when asked what position he considers himself to be best at: “Wherever they put me is the position I’ll be good at.” Gosh, I freakin’ love that quote.

He may be labeled by some as one of the draft’s bigger “projects,” but that has not stopped him from believing he will make an immediate impression on this Bulls team. The fact that he has the size and athleticism to guard nearly every position bodes well for his initial NBA leap, and it also doesn’t hurt that he just sounds flat-out determined:

I’m a fan of these self-aware players. I’m not talking high-character, grit and grind guys like Jim Boylen, but rather players that simply understand it takes a mix of work, confidence, listening, and role-playing to excel. The guy knows he isn’t entering the league as a perceived No. 1 talent. Instead, Williams understands he has to fight to earn his recognition. Hell, he didn’t even know that his name was on the rise in NBA circles.

Williams is kind of the epitome of this new Bulls era, right? He is a bit of an unknown that carries tremendous upside. Additionally, he is a no-nonsense player that understands it takes an excruciating amount of work to get to where you want to be. Much like Karnisovas has done throughout this offseason process, Williams is simply being real. Things take time, but he’s prepared to use every second of that time to put the Bulls in a better position to succeed.

“Just do your part. Come in. Work hard. Work as hard as I can, and be ready. Whenever my name is called, whatever opportunity I get, just be ready to take advantage of it.”

Here are some other fun quotes from William’s press conference:

You can watch the full press conference here:



Author: Elias Schuster

Elias Schuster is a writer for Bleacher Nation and a human being. You can follow him on Twitter @Schuster_Elias.