SALT LAKE CITY (ABC 4 Sports) - Nine years after being drafted by the Utah Jazz, Mo Williams is back in town and ready to lead.
Williams, who was introduced to the media on Tuesday, brings two things the Jazz desperately need.
"I bring toughness and I bring leadership," Williams said.
At 6-foot-1, Williams is one of the smallest players in the league. But he is known for his relentless toughness, and doesn't back down from anyone.
"Some guys are kind of laid back and reserved," Williams said. "I'm not. I'm balls to the wall and I'm going to go hard. If I got to fight, well, we've got to fight. Toughness doesn't make you a better shooter or make you jump higher. But what it does do is on the fourth game in five nights, toughness is going to get you on the court and get work in to get better."
Williams, who has played nine seasons in the NBA with the Jazz, Milwaukee Bucks, Cleveland Cavaliers and Los Angeles Clippers, is ready to be a true leader on the court, especially when it comes to hard work.
"If I'm out there doing it, then you damn right they're going to be out there doing it too," Williams said. "If you have to tell somebody [to work hard], then we've got more problems. But, it's all about leading by example."
Williams says he doesn't hold any grudges against the Jazz, who decided not to match Milwaukee's offer after his rookie season in 2004.
"I've never had any ill will toward the organization at all," he said. "I felt like it was a blessing to be a part of this organization."
"I think we've gotten better," said general manager Kevin O'Connor. "He's experienced, he wants to be here, and he gives us an opportunity to have a player that has played a lot of minutes in this league and been successful."
At 29, Williams didn't want to come to a team that was rebuilding. He's ready to contend for a championship right away, and he feels the Jazz have the necessary pieces to begin that journey.
"That's one of the reasons I was excited about this move," he said. "Talking to Kevin and talking to Ty and the vision they have, I was even more excited about it. With those four bigs and with Gordon, Paul and Al, we've got the pieces."
Williams takes over the starting point guard job that belonged to Devin Harris last year. Harris was traded to Atlanta in exchange for Marvin Williams in a move that won't become official until July 11th. Williams is a better shooter than Harris, but he warns fans not to expect miracles.
"Am I going to be perfect?," Williams asked. "Absolutely not. Am I going to have some bad games that you're going to write about? Absolutely. But one thing you're not going to write is he's not going hard, he he's not being competitive and he's not being a leader. That's one thing that's never going to be written."