Micheal used to be Michael. He changed the spelling in kindergarten. "Micheal is easier when you're doing cursive writing," he says. "If you start with the h, you can loop it around and come up with the e instead of trying to come back with the a."
Williams the Concise. The difference between Denver Nugget swingman Reggie Williams and time is that time passes. "He's a gunner, a quick-draw guy," says Charley Rosen, who coached Kevin, Dennis and Dave Williams in the CBA. "He's the fastest Williams in the West."
Reggie's mother and wife want him to use Reginald, his given name. It's more distinguished, they say. Reggie disagrees. "Reginald the First, Reginald the Second, Reginald the Third...." he mutters. "I've heard of people like that, kings and dukes and jacks and stuff. But Reginald's too long, so I shortened it to Reggie. It's simpler."
Particularly after sinking a 20-foot jumper. "You don't want to hear that 'Reginald' scored two points," he says. "It'd take up too much time."
Williams the Confabulator. When Kenny Williams was a senior at Fork Union Military School, his football team played William & Mary. "We won something like 29-0," recalls the Indianapolis Pacer forward. "I didn't mind beating Mary, but I felt bad about William."
This is another guy whose boyhood hero was Buck Williams; what's more, he shares an agent with Brian Williams, he played briefly with Micheal Williams, and he almost went to the same college—North Carolina—as Scott Williams. "Actually, I only signed a letter of intent [at UNC]," he says. "I was a couple of credits short and never played there." He went to Barton County (Kans.) Community College in the fall of 1988, then sat out the next season at another junior college before declaring hardship for the NBA in 1990. "If I'd stayed in college all four years," he notes, "I'd have graduated in the same class as Walt Williams."
Coasting along on a slick line of gab, Kenny says the best thing about being a Williams is not having to keep up with the Joneses. "We've surpassed them," he boasts. "I wouldn't want my last name to be anything else. Except maybe Jordan."
For all his spectacular slams and robust rebounds, Kenny is an intensely private Williams. The Pacers once fined him for refusing to divulge his home phone number. "I would change it seven or eight times a month," he says. This may have been brought on by teenage trauma. Kenny still flinches at the memory of a phone call he received in high school.
"Hi," a voice intoned from the other end of the line. "This is Kenny Williams."
"Stop joking," said Kenny.