"Tell the truth or I'll hang up."
"Seriously, man, I'm Kenny Williams. Who are you?"
"Turned out my sister Patricia was dating another Kenny Williams," says our Kenny.
Williams the Contemplator. Buck Williams, the Portland Trail Blazers' selfless power forward, is a self-styled genealogist. The 12-year NBA veteran has traced his mother's roots back to 1795. But he had to stop digging on his father's side when he got to his granddad, Moses Williams, a North Carolina sharecropper. Moses was raised by his older sister, Sarah. "No one has any idea what happened to their parents," says Buck. "There's something tricky in there. It's a mystery I want to solve."
As for the Curious Case of the NBA Williamses, Buck would rather contemplate than investigate. "I sit around and relish the fact that when I retire, my name will live on," he says. "I don't think I'll ever see the day when there isn't one Williams in the game of pro basketball."
Williams the Conflicted. The Life of Brian Williams plays more like dark tragedy than comedy. Fainting spells plagued Orlando's second-year power forward for much of the summer. He blacked out on a gym floor, in a swimming pool and while driving a car. In October he attempted suicide by overdosing on sleeping pills. In late November he was diagnosed with clinical depression. After being placed on injured reserve on Nov. 25, Brian finally returned to action on Feb. 14—Valentine's Day—against the Knicks in Orlando. The sellout crowd greeted his return with a standing ovation.
"Two years ago," says Brian, "my brother Miles changed his last name to DuBour. I guess Miles got sick of running into all the Williamses out there. Everywhere he turned, there was a Williams."