DALLAS -- Sean Williams has seen how quickly a promising NBA career can go poof by making poor life decisions. He has a second NBA life thanks to the Dallas Mavericks, but it will be up to the 6-foot-10 forward/center from Mansfield to make it work.
Williams wrapped up his first practice with his new team Thursday. He was out of the league last season, dropped by the fed-up New Jersey Nets, and was playing in Israel before being let out of his contract to come back home.
At first, Williams got a tad testy at a question about his maturation process.
"I think we live and we learn everyday. I’m just thankful to be here and be able to take another step," Williams said. "I’m still trying to learn the plays, feel everybody out and see where I can get in and fit in."
He'll have an opportunity to earn minutes behind starting center Brendan Haywood, a competition that includes Ian Mahinmi and Brandan Wright. Williams will earn minutes if he can show the athletic, shot-blocking ability and tough defense that made him a first-round pick by the Nets in 2007.
Then Williams turned a bit emotional when asked about going from that first-round pick to out of the league in three short seasons pock-marked by disciplinary issues.
"Difficult," he said about being out of the league last season as he became somewhat reflective. "I think we all have our own path in life. I’ve gone by mine. I wouldn’t be the person I am today if it wasn’t for some of the things I’ve gone through before. I appreciate all my experiences and from here on out just try to stay positive and look forward to positive things manifest in my life."