John Williams, popular 6th man with Cavaliers, dies at 53

Cleveland Cavaliers
Cleveland Cavaliers

BATON ROUGE, La. (AP) – John “Hot Rod” Williams, a popular sixth man with the Cleveland Cavaliers from 1986 to 1995, has died.

Williams’ agent, Mark Bartelstein, says Williams died Friday in a Baton Rouge hospital from complications related to prostate cancer. He was 53.

The 6-foot-11 Williams was a Louisiana native who played at Tulane and was the school’s second all-time scorer. He spent his first nine NBA seasons with Cleveland, then closed his career with shorter stints in Phoenix and Dallas, last playing in 1999.

Williams played in 887 NBA games, averaging 11 points and 6.8 rebounds. During the 1989-90 season, he averaged 16.8 points and 8.1 rebounds. provides commenting to allow for constructive discussion on the stories we cover. In order to comment here, you acknowledge you have read and agreed to our Terms of Service. Commenters who violate these terms, including use of vulgar language or racial slurs, will be banned. Please be respectful of the opinions of others and keep the conversation on topic and civil. If you see an inappropriate comment, please flag it for our moderators to review.

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