HoopsHype Jay Williams rumors

December 30, 2013 Updates

Williams -- the #2 overall pick in the 2002 Draft -- didn't seem too surprised with Bynum's recent suspension from the Cleveland Cavaliers (conduct detrimental to the team) because it falls in line with a pattern of behavior from someone who just doesn't love the game. "Andrew Bynum is Andrew Bynum ... basketball ain't for everybody." Williams explained, "Sometimes dudes are tall and people expect 'em to play hoop ... and they can hoop and you can make great money doing it, [but it] doesn't mean they love hoop." "I'm not saying that Andrew Bynum doesn't love basketball, but everything he's been doing doesn't make it seem like he loves basketball, makes is it seem like he's just doing it for the exposure and the money." TMZ.com

December 4, 2013 Updates

Jay Williams, the former two-time College Basketball Player of the Year, former Chicago Bulls guard and one-time invitee to New Jersey Nets training camp, told Jason Mcintyre of The Big Lead that Jason Kidd and Lawrence Frank had "always had friction," dating back to their days when their relationship was as a player and coach. "I’m speaking totally upon speculation here, but when I played training camp there, and I worked out with J-Kidd for a good five or six months, there was always a little bit of friction between [Kidd and Frank]. Not in the regards of, ‘hey, we hate each other,’ but more so in their styles; their approach to the game," Jay Williams said. NetsDaily

June 25, 2013 Updates

Williams lost control of the bike, smashed into a utility pole, had his leg crushed and was injured within a whisker or two of his life. He went back to the spot of the accident for the first time since then this month, in order to film a segment for HBO’s Real Sports. “I couldn’t even do it,” Williams told Sporting News just ahead of the show’s debut. “I could not make it through that part of the interview. I had all the details in my mind already, I had been replaying them for 10 years. Once I got there, I was there for 10 minutes and I was so overwhelmed with emotion that I couldn’t articulate. I couldn’t talk. My tongue was stuck. My whole body was stuck.” Sporting News

He thought of suicide, he said. Twice. “It was tough, after I got dropped by the Nets,” Williams said. “I kind of looked up and all my friends are in the primes of their careers. Whether it be LeBron, or D-Wade, guys who came in a year after me, or guys who came in with me, you’re seeing all these guys sign these multi-year, big contracts, being named as franchise guys. You’re like, ‘Damn, I was on that path.’ I went from the top to the bottom. It happened like that, at the snap of my fingers.” Sporting News

“Imagine it,” Williams said. “You’re 22, 23 years old and you’re still mad at yourself for what you did to yourself as far as my accident. At that point, I did not want to be in the limelight—I wanted to be in a dark hole so I could do what I needed to do in order to get back. And trying to cover games at that juncture of my life was an arduous task. I am there, asking kids who their favorite players were, who did they model their game after, and I remember a couple kids said, ‘You, when you were good.’” Sporting News

February 12, 2013 Updates

Knicks center Tyson Chandler called ESPN analyst Jay Williams' assertion that members of the 2002-03 Chicago Bulls smoked marijuana prior to games "ridiculous" on Monday evening. Chandler and Williams played together on the 2002-03 Bulls. "I don't know why he would say something like that. I think that's ridiculous that he would come out and say something. I don't remember that to be honest with you. And it's unfortunate that he would make that kind of statement about our game," Chandler said at the team's charity bowling event to support Madison Square Garden's Garden of Dreams Foundation. ESPN.com

February 10, 2013 Updates

On that afternoon in June, Williams again revved the engine, only this time, the motorcycle surged forward unexpectedly, shot like a bullet from a gun. The front wheel lifted off the ground for an accidental wheelie. Williams was not wearing a helmet, did not have a proper license, was in violation of his contract with the Chicago Bulls. He gripped the handlebars, which only seemed to make the bike go faster, which only made him lose control. “I’m gone,” Williams said. “I’m flying. I’m going 50, 60 miles an hour. As I look up, I see a utility pole, and I couldn’t turn the bike and get out of the way.” New York Times

Williams clipped the pole with the left side of his body, which sent him spinning, around and around, over and over. He could not feel his left side, or anything from the waist down. He did not think about death, amputation or depression. He thought only about his career. He lay there, numb, in shock, terrified but so full of adrenaline that his body blocked out most of the pain. It felt as if someone were pouring water on him. He passed out and woke up in an ambulance, passed out again and woke up in a hospital. Even the doctors looked scared. They needed to contact his parents, needed to operate immediately. They worried about amputation, about death. Williams remembered little but clung to an image from the scene, his first glance sideways as he spun. There it was: a red fire hydrant. He screamed: “You threw it all away! You threw it all away!” New York Times

For years, Williams struggled with depression. He refused to wear shorts or show anyone his left leg. He asked the inevitable: why me? He took too much pain medication, too much OxyContin in particular, for too long. He blew out the candles for his 22nd birthday in bed. He spent years in rehabilitation. He resented the teammates who lacked his drive but remained in the N.B.A., collecting paychecks, accolades, even championship rings. He cried himself to sleep. He went to therapy. He moved to New York City and tried to become an agent and drank alcohol frequently. New York Times

At his lowest point, Williams did more than consider suicide. “I remember lying in my bed,” he said. “And I’m just tired of being here. I didn’t want to be here anymore. I was so afraid to face people. And I didn’t really know who I was. And I didn’t really want anybody to see me. And I didn’t want to talk to anybody. I didn’t want to talk about it.” New York Times

Williams glanced at his mother, Althea Williams, as he recounted the story. He continued: “I mean, to the point where I sat there, and I had this pair of scissors in my hand. I just kept going on my wrist. I wasn’t trying to go sideways. I was going vertical. I didn’t want to be here. At all.” His mother added: “I came in. I saw it. I slept in the room every day after that.” “That was the lowest point in my life,” Williams said. “And if I had more time, if the scissors weren’t dull, I think I would have followed through with it. I can’t say for sure. But I was leaning toward that.” New York Times

Jay Levy, ESPN’s senior coordinating producer for men’s college basketball, said Williams learned to slow down over the past few years, to let the broadcast breathe. Williams watched as much tape as when he played. He started to pitch interviews, which showed initiative for an analyst among ESPN’s youngest, an analyst whose career goals include becoming the “African-American Matt Lauer.” “I hope people remind me of my accident every day of my life,” Williams said. “Because that means I’m a prime example of somebody who had it and lost everything and may not have gotten it back in the same capacity but still reinvented myself.” New York Times

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