Jazz forward Marvin Williams hopes to ditch the mask

Jan 13 2014 - 8:45pm

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SALT LAKE CITY - Marvin Williams, unmasked.

At least that's what the Utah Jazz forward is hoping for.

Williams, who broke his nose while playing against San Antonio in November, said Saturday he is planning to ditch the protective mask he's been wearing.

Maybe.

Possibly.

Hopefully.

"I don't know," he said. "I'm gonna go through a little trial period the next 48 hours. I might retire it, I'm not sure yet."

Williams wore the mask in the first half and part of the second during last Friday's loss to Cleveland. However, after being subbed out at one point, he stopped on the way to the bench and handed the mask to athletic trainer Gary Briggs.

"That's the only reason I took it off, the strap was kind of bothering me," Williams said.

"Sometimes we have to change the lining on it so it'll stay tight," he added. "It might just have to have a new lining on it. It was kind of bothering me so I just got tired of it."

Williams broke his nose when teammate Derrick Favors clipped him during a 91-82 loss to the Spurs on Nov. 15. He attempted to play with a generic mask Briggs gave him but eventually took it off because it effected his vision.

He got his nosed bumped again during a Nov. 18 loss to Golden State.

Shortly thereafter he underwent a procedure to set the nose and began wearing a custom-fit mask.

Williams said his nose feels fine now. But ...

"I feel fine, it's felt fine for a long time now," he said. "The biggest thing for me was comfort. The mask just kind of put my mind at ease about getting hit again."

Former Detroit Piston forward Richard "Rip" Hamilton began wearing a similar mask when he broke his nose on at least three different occasions during the 2003-04 season. He was advised to continue wearing it for the remainder of his playing career.

Hamilton became so comfortable with his mask he began referring to it as his "Superman cape."

In Williams' case, he isn't interested in becoming a superhero. At least not one who wears a mask.

He said he may not wear it when the Jazz play host to the Denver Nuggets Monday at EnergySolutions Arena.

Maybe not.

Hopefully not.

Probably not.

Williams is averaging 9.6 points and 5.3 rebounds a game this season. He has been Utah's starting power forward. At 6-foot-9 he is long and lanky but has the quickness and long-range shooting ability to take defenders away from the basket.

Jazz coach Tyrone Corbin said he likes having a "stretch four" power forward who can cause matchup problems for opposing defenses.

"The way the team's built right now, it makes sense for us," he said.

Williams struggled against the Cavaliers, shooting just 1-for-6 from the field.

His only made basket was a 3-pointer.

He said he was disappointed but not dejected over the bad night.

"It was just one of those days," he said. "That's the first thing my pops told me when I got off the court. 'One of those days huh, kid?' I said, 'Yeah.' I've been around long enough, you play enough games you're gonna have a couple nights like that."

With an attitude like that, Williams doesn't need to mask his feelings.

Contact reporter Jim Burton at 801-625-4265, or at jburton@standard.net. Follow him on Twitter @StandardExJimbo.

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