Jason Williams delivered everything he promised before the game — everything, that is, except a victory.
He was one of five ex-NBA players to take part in the National Basketball League’s Indonesia All-Star 2012 event at the C-Tra Arena in Bandung on Wednesday night, in front of about 1,000 fans.
The game included 20 of the NBL’s best players, who were chosen by fans who voted online. Each squad got three NBA ringers.
Duane Causewell and Charles Smith joined Williams on the Red team. The Blue team had Ricky Pierce, Vin Baker and Lucius Allen. The Blue team won 67-63.
Before the game, Williams said he would dribble the ball between an opponent’s leg. He kept his promise when he put the move on Andi Poedjakesuma, right before sinking a 3-pointer.
The 36-year-old point guard also charmed the crowd with fancy dishes like the no-look and his signature elbow pass, which brought the crowd to their feet.
The local stars were eager to show off their own tricks alongside the NBA players. Red team guard Dimaz Muharri did a between-the-legs lay-up, while forward Vamiga Michel had a few dunks.
Williams said he enjoyed playing in front of the Bandung crowd.
“It was fun and the crowd was great,” said Williams, whose nickname is “White Chocolate.” “I’m looking forward to coming back. They [the local players] played hard and had a good time. … Just keep working hard, keep your head up and listen to your coach.”
Williams, who helped the Miami Heat win their first NBA championship in 2006, ended the game with 20 points and six assists. He was the headliner, though Baker, Causewell and Pierce also executed some impressive moves.
Pierce proved he could still shoot and led all scorers with 25 points. Baker hit some 3-pointers and had some emphatic blocks.
“It was a fun game,” Baker said. “The fans are great and the players are wonderful. We had great fun tonight and I’m looking forward to doing it again. I enjoyed blocking a lot of shots.”
Some of the Indonesian players thrived alongside the NBA vets.
“I didn’t train or anything with [Williams], but in the game I wanted to try some new things and he seemed to know my ideas and it just happened,” Dimaz said. “It was great.”
The NBL All-Star 2012 series featuring the USA Pro Ball Alumni will continue at DBL Arena in Surabaya on Saturday.