Derrick Williams to “Just Be True”

Long before Cavaliers reserve forward Derrick Williams became the No. 2 pick in the NBA draft, his mother Rhoma Moore told him to “Just be true to you.”

For Williams those words have always been the comforting inspiration for the ultra talented, but often maligned 6’8 University of Arizona product who impressed Cavs general manager David Griffin that he signed him for the remainder of the season after two 10-day contracts.

“ Yeah, my mom told me that (Just be true to you) no matter how far I go in this game it’s more than just a basketball player. She (his mom) wants me to be that aggressive player on the court all the time. Just be true to yourself and don’t believe everything that others may say, whatever you believe is right is what she’s always told me,” Williams explained to the Call & Post from the Cavaliers practice facility in Independence Ohio last week.

Williams, who prepped at La Mirada High School in Southern California, hails from one of the most productive regions for basketball players in the world.

“There are about 40 or 50 NBA players from So Cal that I can just name off the top of my head that I could go into an open gym back home and get me some good run,” he said.

However, it was former NBA veteran Brad Miller who offered him the best advice that he still benefits from today.

When he came into the NBA in 2011 he says there have been plenty of players who have influenced him through the ups and downs, but Miller’s tips transformed his mindset.

“Brad Miller was always on me, telling me you gotta do this-you gotta do this. It just made me better because if he really didn’t tell me that and just didn’t say anything to me that’s even worse. I think the more people talk to me is because they want me to succeed and he wasn’t on me because I was playing bad, he wanted me to give the extra effort every time,” Williams elaborated.

The Cavs became Williams 5th team since he requested his release from the Miami Heat, which had signed him to a one-year deal, following stints in New York, Sacramento and Minnesota.