Jazz’s Marvin Williams scores high on likability



Photo: Tom Smart, Deseret News

As the saying goes, you never get a second chance to make a first impression.

Consider me impressed.

I happened to be the first one in the Jazz locker room on Wednesday night after their win over Dallas. Usually the players want to get all their interviews done at once, or if possible avoid them altogether.

That’s why I was so surprised when I stopped Marvin Williams as he walked toward the shower with a towel wrapped around his waist. I asked if he had time for a few questions or whether he wanted to get showered first.

Naturally, I hoped to talk to him beforehand. I had only a few minutes until deadline. That’s when Williams said the some of the sweetest words a writer ever hears: “Yes, we can talk now.”

He was both polite and patient.

There are quite a few different kinds of interviews. For instance, colorful interviews, like the kind you’d get when Raja Bell or Karl Malone was mad or happy about something.  There are funny interviews, such as Kyrylo Fesenko saying he wanted to catch a glimpse of Jennifer Aniston when the Jazz were playing in L.A.

There are rude or tense interviews, such as Deron Williams or Tom Chambers would sometimes conduct. And there are condescending interviews. Hello, Carlos Boozer.

I’ve had athletes spit on my feet, stare at me without answering questions, yell at me and refer to me and other reporters as “flies.”

But Marvin Williams conducted a pleasant, civil interview when he easily could have taken a pass. Which says much for his character.

I don’t know how he’ll do in the long term for the Jazz, or how accommodating he’ll be on nights he doesn’t score 21 points, but I find myself thinking he deserves a successful career. I fairness, I wouldn’t give him a free pass if he doesn’t play well. But on first impression, he does deserve an A in the area of civility and politeness. That counts a lot when you’re selling tickets to a community looking for a new star to cheer.

To read what I had to write on Wednesday after the short interview, click here.

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