John "Hot Rod" Williams, one of the NBA's best sixth men in the 1980s and '90s, has died of cancer at his home near Sorrento, Louisiana. He was 53.
The entire Cavaliers family is deeply saddened with the news of John "Hot Rod" Williams' passing," a statement from the Cavaliers read. "Hot Rod was, first and foremost, a great teammate, and also the kind of dependable person and player that made the Cavaliers organization proud during his almost decade-long time with the team. Hot Rod was the guy that willingly and pridefully drew the toughest defensive assignment. He was the kind of talented, unselfish and versatile player and person that earned the respect of everyone around him, including his teammates and opponents, and those who knew and worked with him off the court as well. In many respects, he was the humble embodiment and unsung hero of one of the most memorable and successful eras of Cavaliers basketball.
What many may forget about Williams is his style of play offensively. Williams was a slender, versatile frontcourt player. In regards to big men, he was ahead of his time due to his ability to stretch the floor with his shot and put it on the floor. He set the tone for the style current NBA big men play today.