Utah Jazz: Marvin Williams excited to be part of Jazz

Published: Thursday, July 12 2012 4:00 p.m. MDT

"The only expectations I feel like I have to meet are my own," he said. "I don't play basketball to meet people's expectations. … Anybody that knows me knows that's what I play basketball for. I feel like every day I look in the mirror and the only expectations I have to meet are my own.

"You never meet your own expectations if you want to continue to get better, and I definitely want to get better. So I obviously have a lot of work to still do, and at 26 years old, I'm definitely excited about the road ahead of me.

"I feel like I can do a lot of things fairly well, but I want to get a lot better in a lot of different areas," Williams said. "I think the main thing I really want to become is more consistent. The past few years I've been a little inconsistent sometimes, so I really want to come in and work to be more consistent."

Two areas where Williams might immediately help the Jazz in are perimeter shooting — he nailed nearly 40 percent of his shots, a career-best, from 3-point range last season — and perimeter defense, which has been a glaring weakness in Utah for a long time.

"Obviously it was my best year shooting it from 3, so I was really excited about that," he said. "But obviously I still feel like I can improve in that area as well. So if Utah really needs that, I'm hoping I can come in and kind of help them in that area for sure.

"I just try to play hard," Williams said of his defensive effort. "The one thing I do know is you cannot win a basketball game without stopping your man from scoring. I do take pride in trying to slow my man down; you're not going to stop anybody from scoring in the NBA, period. Your job is to go out there and make it as difficult as you can for them, and I feel like throughout my career I've done a pretty good job of doing that. So hopefully I can continue to bring that kind of toughness to the Utah Jazz."

And though he's not very familiar with members of the current Jazz roster or coaching staff, and hasn't hardly spoken with head coach Tyrone Corbin yet since the trade, Williams knows one thing about the franchise — they've got fantastic (read: loud) fans.

And that's something he's looking forward to experiencing as a member of the home team, rather than when he was a member of the visiting, enemy ballclub.

"This is one of the arenas, I think, around the league that really does show support for their team," he said. "Every time I've come here, it's been very, very tough to try and sneak a win out of this place, man, because it's always so loud, you know, it's always so loud. So any time you get a chance to play for an organization like that, it's really good."

So it sounds like he's glad to be here. And, asked if he had anything left to prove, Williams responded reflectively.

"Some people may say I do. My dream was to play in the NBA — period — and I feel like every day I've been living my dream," he said. "So the only thing I have to prove is something to myself. And that's how I've always felt.

"I've definitely had a blast, and I'm definitely excited with the way things are going. I loved my opportunity and my years played in Atlanta, and I'm a member of the Utah Jazz now, so I'm ready to turn the page on that and get started on a new chapter in my life. (Utah's) a great place; it seems like a nice place. Everyone I've met has been extremely nice. So if that's any reflection on the community, I'm definitely excited to be living here.

"I've had an opportunity to play at this level for a long time, and I'm really excited about it," Williams said. "And as a young guy, 26 years old, I pray that I get a chance to stay for a little while longer. Every day, man, I'm just so thankful to be here, and hopefully I can continue to work to get better and hopefully help this team win games."

If that happens, grateful Jazz fans will be glad if he spends his next seven NBA seasons in Salt Lake City.

email: rhollis@desnews.com

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