SALT LAKE CITY (ABC 4 Sports) - It's not Marvin Williams' fault that he was drafted ahead of perennial all-stars Deron Williams and Chris Paul. But he was taken ahead of both players by the Atlanta Hawks with the second overall pick in the 2005 NBA Draft, and has had to live their shadows during his entire 7-year NBA career.
"I don't wake up every morning trying to be better than Deron Williams and Chris Paul," Williams said. "That's not my job. That's never been my job. My job is to be the best player that I can be. If that's not good enough for some people, that's fine. It's definitely good enough for me."
The Jazz hope Williams is good enough to become a consistent contributor on a young, developing team. The Jazz traded Devin Harris to Atlanta to acquire Williams, who is expected to help Utah's inconsistent outside shooting. Williams shot a career-best 39 percent from 3-point range last season.
"It was my best year shooting it from 3-point range," Williams said. "I was really excited about that, but I still feel like I can improve in that area. If Utah really needs that, I'm hoping I can help them out in that area."
Williams was not expecting to be traded, let alone to Utah. He admits he doesn't know much about Salt Lake City other than "I know it gets cold up here. But this is a new opportunity to play with new guys, play for a new coach, live in a new city. It's all going to be new for me, so it definitely is an exciting time for sure."
Williams says he loves how hard the Jazz play. He witnessed it first hand during that incredible quadruple overtime game in Atlanta this past March.
"They compete," he said. "Every last one of us in the lockerroom [after the game] was like, 'Man, Utah never went away.' It didn't matter who was out there on the floor for them. Everybody out there came in and contributed, and it's exciting to be a part of a team with guys that play that hard."
Only 26, Williams has been in the league for seven seasons, and owns a career scoring average of 11.5 points per game. At 6-9, Williams gives the Jazz size and athleticism at the small forward position, and he'll help the team's young core of players with his knowledge of the game.
"I've been on a team like that where we've got a bunch of young guys that are eager to get better and eager to work," Williams said. "When I look at this team, they've got a roster full of those guys."
Williams is also excited about finally seeing the positive side of those passionate Jazz fans.
"I'm excited to be wearing the home jersey," he said. "In all honesty, it's not fun to come up here to play. They make it very difficult for the opposing teams to come in here and get a win."
Many Jazz fans remember Williams for his role in a brawl during a summer league game with former Jazz player Rafael Araujo back in 2006. However, Williams had trouble recalling the incident.
"I didn't remember anything about it," Williams said with a laugh. "To be honest, somebody was trying to ask me about it earlier today, and I'm trying to rack my brain and try to remember. But, I remember we got into a little scuffle under the basket. What for, I don't know. It was six or seven years ago, but it's over now and it's done and gone."
After leaving North Carolina after his freshman season, Williams is currently trying to earn his degree. Growing up near Seattle, he says his family is happy that he's now playing closer to home.
"I'm definitely excited to be back out west," Williams said. "My family will be a little closer to me now, and I'm sure they're excited about that too."
Williams will wear the #2 jersey when he reports to training camp in October.