Ex-Bulls guard says players smoked marijuana before games, gambled as well

jay-williamsJay Williams did not have an NBA career he hoped for.

He played only one season in the league for the Chicago Bulls, averaging 9.5 ppg and 4.7 apg in 26.1 minutes on the court. He appeared in 75 games, starting 54.

Then an ugly accident took his career away.

Former player and current ESPN college basketball analyst, Williams recently spoke to NY Times about his career and his future, at the same time revealing some details from his season with the Bulls.

In particular, he said that some of his Chicago Bulls teammates smoke marijuana before games during the 2002-2003 season.

“I didn’t know how to handle it at first,” Williams said. “I didn’t know how to be around it. Guys were on the bench, trying to kick it to girls in the stands, having ball boys run over. I mean, some guys were high.”

Asked to clarify, Williams said: “There were guys smoking weed before games. Guys asking in the middle of the game, ‘Do you smell popcorn?’ ”

Williams also said some players on the team gambled.

“You think I’m playing,” Williams said. “Can you imagine! Guys are gambling. They’re playing dice in the back of the plane for money. Like, we just lost by 30 tonight! And we’ve got a game tomorrow! It bugged me out.”

Williams himself did not live like a monk back then. He attended the rookie symposium and listened to little of what was said.

He fell into a lifestyle he described as “typical” of the NBA – he took private planes to Las Vegas with his friends, gambled, frequented nightclubs, fought with his parents.

“I lost who I was,” Williams said.

After the motorcycle accident, Williams tried to get back to the NBA, however it did not work out. Another minor injury received later, completely shattered young player’s hopes for a new beginning.

Not being able to play, Williams battled depression, and even one time considered suicide.


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