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Motorcycles Are Way Cool

Updated on June 25, 2013

In 2002 Jason Williams from Duke University was selected by the Chicago Bulls as the number two overall pick in the NBA draft behind only Yao Ming. After a promising rookie season in which he played 26 minutes a game and averaged 9.5 points and 4.7 assists per game, he decided in June 2003 to take his motorcycle for a spin. Not wearing a helmet and not licensed to drive a motorcycle in Illinois, he proceeded to crash his bike into a streetlight. He suffered a severed main nerve in his leg, a fractured pelvis, and three torn ligaments in his left knee including the ACL. A week after the accident the Bulls drafted point guard Kirk Hinrich. Williams was also violating the terms of his contract with the Bulls by riding a motorcycle and therefore the Bulls owed him nothing. They graciously gave him three million dollars to rehabilitate, waived him, and told him to go away. It took over three years before the New Jersey Nets gave him an opportunity to come back. They released him less than a month later. CAREER OVER.

The contract that Williams signed with the Bulls was lucrative to say the least. He was to receive 16.14 million dollars over 3 years. I mean come on it's not like the guy was hired at Pizza Hut for $7.25 an hour. You could drive your car 12 miles to a delivery in a driving rainstorm and get struck by lightning running to get the pizza to someone's house and NO ONE in the "Pizza Hut family" would even bother to show up at your funeral. The Bulls gave a short man in a big man's game a huge contract. And you know when that contract was signed the Bulls were well aware of his enthusiasm for bikes. And you know they made it PERFECTLY CLEAR that he was not to be riding one. When someone gives you that kind of cash YOU DO AS YOUR TOLD. That clause in Williams' contract only confirms what everyone already knows; motorcycles are a death sentence.

When we talk about cool means of transportation there are many varieties. Let's set aside cool for a moment. A man of his wealth(at least at that time) could go down to any dealer in Chicago and find the SAFEST car on the market and buy 5 of the them. There would be no financing either. Just "give me one in black, red, blue, white, and green". Hell Williams could buy 5 of the UNSAFEST cars on the market and their safety rating would compare with golf carts more so than motorcycles. Jason Williams could call any limosine service in Chicago and they would escort him anywhere he wanted to go and do it for free. This guy was in the unique position of being the most desired college basketball player in the United States in 2002 and now he sits behind an ESPN table and does what any basketball player at any level can do; he talks basketball.

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