What Happened to Former NBA Brian Williams aka Bison Dele?

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Brian Williams did something different: NBA players engage in business after they retire. What happened to NBA player Brian Williams?

Brian Williams, aka Bison Dele, was a reluctant basketball player who made millions out of the game. Dele made an early NBA exit while at the peak of his career in pursuit of the joys life can give. Sadly, the man was murdered with only his brother’s Miles Dabord, a story to rely on, and the world will never know what happened on that fateful day.

Know about the colorful story of a man, his passion, and how he views life.

Who was Brian WilliamsWho was Brian Williams?

Brian Carson Williams was born on April 6, 1969, to parents Eugene “Geno ” Williams Jr. of the famed 50’s musical group The Platters and Patricia Philips. His brother Kevin was two years older, and the siblings almost looked the same but differed in physical features.

Unfortunately, Brian would not have a father figure as a child; his parents separated in 1970.

Brian was a natural athlete growing up, but basketball wasn’t his passion. He excelled in school as a track runner. Brian went through a growth spurt in the tenth grade, and the school’s coaches pushed him to play basketball.

Even if Brian wasn’t a huge game fan, he quickly proved he was an excellent ball player. College scouts had their eyes trained on Brian during his senior year at Bishop Gorman High School in Las Vegas, Nevada.

Brian’s stars shined when he earned Rookie of the Year honors playing as a freshman for the University of Maryland in the Atlantic Coast Conference. He transferred to Arizona State University, donning the Wildcats jersey for two years before entering the NBA draft in 1991.

Brian’s green eyes, height, fame, and physique, had a magical effect on women. Women would send him letters for dates he would never forget. Brian is often seen in the company of singers, starlets, and, briefly, Madonna.

One woman was a cut above the rest. Serena Karlan’s innocent baby blue eyes, wavy black hair, and beautiful feline face caught Brian’s fancy. The couple was a perfect match, the attraction went beyond beauty, and they saw the world similarly.

Overview of Brian Williams’ NBA Career

In 1991, Brian was the first-round 10th pick by the Orlando Magic in the NBA rookie draft. The first season didn’t work out between Brian and the Magic; he was unhappy with the limited playing time during the two seasons with the franchise. Playing alongside Shaquille O’Neil explains this.

Like in Orlando, Williams packed his bags to join the Los Angeles Clippers after two seasons (1993-94) with the Denver Nuggets. He had increased exposure, and Williams had a career-high 15.8 PPG in the 1995-96 season.

However, Williams’ contentment was short-lived. A contract dispute and a high asking price sat him out most of the 1996-97 season.

Life was playing tricks on Williams. The Clippers were cutting ties, with nine remaining games in the season, Williams had a call from the Michael Jordan-led Chicago Bulls. Williams played the nine games of the season with the Bulls, and in the playoffs, he proved naysayers wrong.

In the Western Conference semifinals, the Atlanta Hawks shocked the Bulls in game 2 to even the series. Coach Phil Jackson wanted to shake things up a bit in game 3. Williams was scoreless in a five-minute playtime in game 2 and was Jackson’s trump card. In game 3, Williams played 22 minutes, scored 14 points, and grabbed five rebounds. His impact was felt throughout the series, with the Bulls ending on top 4-1.

Williams carried the same intensity in the Finals against the Utah Jazz. In game 3, Williams contributed 16 points to a losing cause. But, the Bulls couldn’t be denied and upended the Jazz 4-2 for Brian Williams NBA player lone ring in 1996-97.

Retirement from Professional Basketball

Williams was let go by the Bulls after winning the championship and moved over to his new home – the Detroit Pistons. 

The Pistons offered Williams a lucrative seven-year $45 million deal in 1997, making him the team’s highest-paid player. Williams put up big numbers in his first year, 16.2 PPG and 8.2 RPG, and the following season was a lockout year with no games played. When the NBA season resumed in 1998-99, Williams’s production dipped to 10.5 PPG and 5.6 RPG.

Williams’s performance didn’t escape the eyes of the Pistons’ management; there was a fallout between the two parties, and his teammates were looking down on him.

While still in the prime of his career, Williams opted out of his remaining five-year contract worth $36.45 million. Williams retired from NBA play at the start of the 1999-00 season at age 30.

Why Did Brian Williams Change his Name to Bison DeleWhy Did Brian Williams Change his Name to Bison Dele?

Brian Carson Williams changed his name to Bison Dele in 1998 and played out his remaining seasons with that name. The name change was to pay tribute to his Cherokee and African ancestry. His older brother Kevin Williams changed his name to Miles Dabord.

Some prominent athletes with a name change due to religious beliefs are former NBA scoring leader (replaced by LeBron James) Lew Alcindor to Kareem Abdul Jabbar, NBA player Ron Artest to Metta World Peace, and Boxer Cassius Clay to Muhammad Ali.

While Bison Dele was enjoying success in his athletic career, Bison Dele brother, Miles Dabord, wasn’t inspired because of severe asthma. In reality, the brothers are at odds with each other.

When the Orlando Magic was drafting Dele in 1991, Dabord was moving from one town to another and job hopping.

While his brother was making it big, Dabord suffered depression and became an alcoholic, blaming his brother for his woes. Dabord’s condition deteriorated, and he made several suicide attempts.

Instead of feeling like a good brother, Dele felt helping his brother was an obligation. Dabord relies on Dele’s handouts for sustenance and keeps him from sleeping on the streets. Dabord received $50,000 on two occasions during Dele’s rookie year.

Dabord was not the only one suffering from clinical depression. Dele was diagnosed with the same disorder as the brother of his unhappiness with the Magic. Dele overdosed on sleeping pills, passed out during practice while guarding Shaquille O’Neil, and crashed his car on a telephone post.

Dele got his wish of leaving the Magic franchise.

What Happened to NBA Player Brian WilliamsWhat Happened to NBA Player Brian Williams?

Nobody walks away from $36.45 million, but Williams did. His early retirement during his peak in the 1999-00 NBA season shows he dislikes basketball. Williams made good money but was unhappy about how his life and career progressed.

So, with millions of dollars in his pockets, Williams could do what he wanted: live a good life. And he was finally happy.

Williams loved traveling and playing musical instruments and got a pilot’s license. His adventures brought him to the exciting bullfights in Spain, the beautiful country of Lebanon, and the enchanting rainforests in Australia, among others.

Williams’ investments included a catamaran he named Hukuna Matata, which he planned to sail to Hawaii with his girlfriend Serena Karlan and captain Bertrand Saldo on July 6, 2002. His brother Miles Dabord invited himself on the trip.

On July 16, 2002, Dabord was seen pulling the Hakuna Matata into Phaeton Bay Marina in Taravao in Tahiti without the three voyagers. The boat’s name was Aria Bella, but the name of Hakuna Matata can be traced from the outline.

Dabord headed home to the United States on July 20, 2002.

The news about Dele, Karlan, and Saldo’s disappearance was hushed until September 5, 2002. A man claiming to be Bison Dele, Miles Dabord, bought $152,000 worth of gold coins from Certified Mint, Inc., a Phoenix coin shop, by issuing a check.

The check was cleared, but the bank contacted Dele’s assistant Kevin Porter to inform him that the address and phone number had changed. Porter called the number, but the voice message didn’t match Bison Dele, and he immediately called the authorities, and Dabord was detained.

When arrested, Dabord said Dele asked him to pick up the coins he bought. The authorities were forced to release him without Dele to support this claim.

Dabord fled to Mexico after telling his girlfriend, Erica Wiese, his story. Wiese contacted the Sonoma County Sheriff’s Department, which contacted the FBI.

Dabord said Karlan accidentally died when her head hit a part of the boat when she tried to stop the fight between the brothers. Dele killed Saldo with a wrench because he wanted to report Karlan’s death. Fearing for his life, he used his brother’s gun in self-defense; Dabord threw the bodies into the ocean and returned to the United States.

A search was organized for Miles Dabord’s capture, and he was found unconscious from an insulin overdose on a Tijuana Beach. He was transported to a San Diego Hospital; while in a coma, Dabord’s life support system was removed on September 28.

Wrapping Things Up: What Happened to Former NBA Brian Williams, aka Bison Dele?

We’ll never know the truth about Bison Dele’s cause of death.

Although we can only guess how he died, we know for sure that he is a man who sacrificed fame and fortune to enjoy what life can offer to the fullest.

We hope you enjoyed this post! If you did, be sure to check out our other basketball FAQ articles here.

We hope you enjoyed this post! If you did, be sure to check out our other basketball FAQ articles here.

Check out our other articles to know about what happened to other interesting NBA players:

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