A year after heartbreak, Nigel Williams-Goss is a champion
Nigel Williams-Goss will not remember his first Turkish Airlines EuroLeague appearance with a lot of excitement. He made sure that his second time at the Final Four was definitely one to remember.
In 2022, Williams-Goss started in his team's EuroLeague semifinal against FC Barcelona. Just 52 seconds after the tip-off, Dante Exum accidentally stepped on his ankle and Williams-Goss left the game. He wasn't able to return for the championship game against Anadolu Efes Istanbul. In fact, Williams-Goss was sidelined until November.
Things were different for Real and Williams-Goss at Zalgirio Arena. Real edged Olympiacos 78-79 and he finished the game with 9 points, 2 rebounds and 2 assists in less than 19 minutes.
"I told my teammates that I owed them one. And obviously, Sergio [Llull] is the one who brought it home for us," Williams-Goss said. "But just to be out here and compete for my guys and be the EuroLeague champion, it's unbelievable."
Real trailed 78-72 with 2 minutes remaining but finished the game with a 0-7 run to claim its 11th EuroLeague crown. Never giving up is Real's trademark and Williams-Goss wanted to stress it out after the game.
"It's the Madrid way. We've been finding ways the last five games to pull it out somehow, some way," Williams-Goss said. "Obviously the veterans were here, Llull, 'Chacho', Rudy: you brought it home. But there is something about that in the Madrid water!"
Of course, none of that would have happened if Llull's high-arching jumper did not fall in with 3.1 seconds left but as Williams-Goss said, that's what he does.
"I mean, he's just done this for so long, man. No one's surprised anymore. It's just another legendary play for a legendary player with a legendary career," he said. "I'll never forget this."