Honestly, I don't even blame Mo Williams. As he told Marc Spears at Yahoo!:
I contemplated it. I really sat down and envisioned life after basketball. …I really saw myself not playing. It just didn’t make sense to me. …It doesn’t make sense to me.
And it makes sense that, from Mo Williams' perspective, this summer made no sense. He'd spent two years pretending to best friends with LeBron James. Goofing off during pregame warm-ups, giggling in press conferences. Can anyone blame him for feeling a little blindsided by all this?
Some folks (like Milwaukee's Brandon Jennings) might say it represents a lack of committment, but really, it's a sign that Mo cares more than most. It wasn't just a business to him. LeBron sort of destroyed his faith in the game.
It's not necessarily LeBron's fault, either. Because basketball is a business, and everyone's got to look out for themselves. But the way he turned his back on teammates is tough to shake. And it'd be even tougher if you're one of those teammates:
This summer was very, very stressful for me. I really lost a lot of love for the game this summer. ... I couldn’t really understand it. And when you don’t understand things, it can really stress you out.
I was happy with my role. We were winning basketball games. I was coming home every night a winner. ... Who can’t love that? That is what playing a role on a team is all about. …Everybody can’t be the star. I was perfectly comfortable being that piece.
Now, it's over. No more LeBron, no more championship contender, no more sellouts. And even if you find it hard to empathize with someone slated to make $9.3 million this season, it's hard not to sympathize. He obviously loves the game, he's obviously hurt, and his honesty here is probably the most endearing aspect of all.
So here's to hoping that Mo Williams ends up on Orlando one day, raining threes in the playoffs, and stabbing LeBron's Heat teams square in the heart.
...With the same knife he pulled from his back this summer? Maybe.