There has only been one player in NBA history who has been suspended for an entire season due to being overweight. It was none other than John “Hot Plate” Williams.
Williams was a monster in college at LSU, and his production led him to become the 12th overall pick in the 1986 NBA draft. He was selected by the Washington Bullets where he put up 9.2 points and 4.7 rebounds per game as a rookie while shooting 45.4 percent from the field.
In his second season with the Bullets, Williams averaged 12.8 points and 5.4 boards, but his weight was starting to become an issue. In Year 3, “Hot Plate” put up 13.7 points and 7.0 rebounds in 82 games. Despite his weight, he was showing signs of being an All-Star player for the Bullets.
During the 1989-90 season, John Williams actually looked like a superstar. He averaged 18.2 points and 7.6 rebounds in 18 games before tearing his MCL and partially tearing his ACL. After that, Williams’ basketball career and body were never the same.
Without basketball, Williams turned to binge eating. His father also tragically suffered a stroke and that made Williams stop attending his injury rehab with the Bullets. By the time he recovered from his injuries, he was well over 280 pounds. The Bullets gave “Hot Plate” a $200,000 bonus every time he met his weight goal. However, the California native never met that goal once.
After playing in 33 games during the 1990-91 season and averaging 12.5 points and 5.4 boards, the LSU product never played for the Bullets again. The team suspended him for the entire 1991-92 campaign for being overweight.
Williams was around 300 pounds. The Bullets wanted him to get to 260 but that day never came. He demanded a trade and his agent even threatened to sue the team.
The Bullets eventually sent Williams to the Los Angeles Clippers in October of 1992. He played two seasons for the Clippers and averaged 6.3 points and 4.1 rebounds.
Los Angeles waived Williams in June of 1994. He played 34 games for the Indiana Pacers in 1994-95 before calling it a career.
John “Hot Plate” Williams finished his NBA career with averages of 10.1 points, 5.1 rebounds and 2.9 assists. He could have had an All-Star career had he kept his diet under control.