Charlotte Hornets forward Marvin Williams is entering his 15th season in the NBA—marking what will be his sixth season with the franchise and sixth straight year living here in the Queen City.
Williams is somewhat of a North Carolina basketball legend now, having won a NCAA National Championship with the University of North Carolina Tar Heels during his lone freshman year and along with being an NBA veteran, he’s also a Charlotte vet. We reached out to him to talk about the family-friendly aspects of the city, his college days, Michael Jordan and more.
What do you love most about the city of Charlotte?
First and foremost, it’s the people. For me, going to school at Chapel Hill, there are so many Tar Heels around the city. The people are so hospitable and kind. Charlotte in general is just a good place to be.
You won a national championship with the Tar Heels; how would you describe your time in Chapel Hill?
That was the best year of my life, for sure. It still is and I’m turning 33 soon. I had a blast. I’m really close with some of the people that I went to school with, not only the people on my team, but regular students too. I’m really thankful for my opportunity to go to school there.
You’ve talked about how important your dad’s influence has been in the past and how much you enjoy being a father. Any kid-friendly places or attractions you enjoy taking your daughter to in Charlotte? How about places to take your dad?
She likes Carowinds. We go to Carowinds a lot. My dad also takes her to Carowinds a lot. She loves Dave & Busters. She loves the parks too. There are a lot of parks in Charlotte. We used to go to Freedom Park quite a bit. We used to live closer to there, so we went there almost every day, now it’s probably once [every] couple of weeks. She loves the parks in Charlotte. [My dad and I] usually go to Hickory Tavern or Blackfinn. My favorite restaurant to eat in Charlotte is called Yaki Asia Fresh.
What’s Michael Jordan like as an owner? Any favorite moments of yours or stories about him during your time with the Hornets?
I remember the first time I met him and I’ll never forget it. I was taking a visit to Chapel Hill and I walked by him. I couldn’t believe it. My dad and M.J. actually grew up near each other, so the first time I was playing in the NBA, he asked about how my dad was and I couldn’t believe it. Even to this day, he still asks about how my dad is doing.
Do you have a particular hobby you enjoy?
I love sports and I love to watch sports. Any time there is a sporting event, I’ll try to check it out. I go to the Knights’ games when I can. I watch the Panthers play during their season. I wanted to go to a Checkers’ game but I missed it. I have seen them practice when they used to practice here. When college football comes here, they will play at Bank of America Stadium sometimes and I’ll try to go to those games. Any time something comes to Charlotte, I definitely try to go check it out.
I’ve been so blessed [to be here]. We’ve had some up years and some disappointing years. All in all, I’m so thankful to come here every single day to work, play and represent for this city. More than anything, I genuinely have a good time coming here every single day. We get to work with some of the best PR people I’ve ever had, the strength and conditioning staff, coaching staff and my teammates. It’s not just the guys on the court that I’m with, everyone here are genuinely good people. It’s cool to come to work here every day.