Terrence Williams hasn't taken the floor in nearly a month, not since January 29th -- when he played a whopping three minutes. He doesn't appear to be happy about it, either. As if anyone could blame him.
Williams got home from the Rockets' loss to the Philadelphia 76ers on Wednesday night, checked his Twitter account at some point and decided to vent his frustration vicariously through the fans who have been dying to see him in action. This, probably a result of hearing the Red Rowdies and others yell out a "Free T-Will!" chant near the end of the loss.
To no surprise, the #FreeTWill hashtag suddenly popped up on Twitter tonight, prompting fans everywhere to join the fun. Williams took notice and essentially rewarded those who supported him by re-tweeting their sympathies. Take a look at his account here and observe the mini-revolution.
It's actually a smart move on Williams' part -- publicizing other people's words instead of his own -- and I have to give him a ton of credit for keeping his mouth shut. Plenty of players have taken to some form of media in the past when frustrated. Williams is no doubt feeling the same, but he's handling it surprisingly well.
Unless something ugly -- and I mean ugly -- is happening behind the scenes, frankly, I don't have a clue what Rick Adelman is trying to prove by benching a young player in need of developmental minutes. We're not even talking about a normal benching, either. Williams flat-out isn't seeing the floor. Ever. You might as well consider him absent from the roster, worth about as much to the team as trainer Keith Jones. Actually, Jones's job provides some sort of value. Williams has been rendered utterly useless.
Chief of all excuses for Williams' benchiness is the Rockets' depth at the guard-forward position. Shane Battier needs to play. Chase Budinger needs to play. Courtney Lee needs to play. Throw Kevin Martin, Aaron Brooks and Kyle Lowry into that mix and you've got all sorts of different options. But that doesn't mean Williams should be excommunicated, and on nights when one of these players is missing -- such as tonight, when Lee was out with pneumonia -- why not give Williams a shot against a team budding with athleticism?
I suspect Williams will play much more following the trade deadline, but it never should have reached this point. What can a young lottery pick possibly learn by watching a team constantly lose without receiving a chance to contribute?
I get that patience is necessary here, but I'm boiling over to the point that I really don't care anymore. Williams needs to play. He needs to learn. If he fails while on the court, fantastic: perhaps he'll learn something. There is only so much tutelage that practice sessions can provide.
So, while there's only so much a fanbase can do in order to affect the decisions that a team makes, join the #FreeTWill movement. You've got nothing to lose. It'll be like Egypt, except not at all.