||This biographical article needs additional citations for verification. (January 2010)|
|Power forward / Center|
February 22, 1968 |
Ritter, South Carolina
|Listed height||6 ft 10 in (2.08 m)|
|Listed weight||245 lb (111 kg)|
|High school||Christ the King
(Middle Village, New York)
|College||St. John's (1987–1990)|
|NBA draft||1990 / Round: 1 / Pick: 21st overall|
|Selected by the Phoenix Suns|
|Pro playing career||1990–2005|
|1992–1999||New Jersey Nets|
|2005||Idaho Stampede (CBA)|
|Career highlights and awards|
|Career NBA statistics|
|Points||3,472 (7.3 ppg)|
|Rebounds||3,584 (7.5 rpg)|
|Blocks||301 (0.6 bpg)|
|Stats at Basketball-Reference.com|
Jayson Williams (born February 22, 1968) is an American former professional basketball player. He played for the Philadelphia 76ers and New Jersey Nets of the National Basketball Association. In 2010, Williams pled guilty to assault in the shooting death of a limousine driver. He served an 18-month prison sentence and was released in April 2012.
Williams was selected by the Phoenix Suns in the first round with the 21st pick of the 1990 NBA Draft. His draft rights were thereafter traded by the Suns to the Philadelphia 76ers for a 1993 NBA first-round draft choice on October 28, 1990. After two seasons as a bench player with the 76ers, Williams was traded to the New Jersey Nets for conditional draft choices on October 8, 1992.
While with the Nets, Williams only earned 12 starts in his first three seasons with the team before finally earning a full-time starting position in the 1996–97 NBA season. The following season, Williams had a career year, leading the league in offensive rebounds and offensive rebound percentage while also finishing the season in the top five in total rebounds, rebounds per game, total rebound percentage and offensive rating. Williams also received his first and only All-Star game selection, playing in the 1998 NBA All-Star Game.
Williams' career came to a sudden end on April 1, 1999 after he broke his right leg in a collision with teammate Stephon Marbury in a game against the Atlanta Hawks.1 The following day, Williams underwent career-ending surgery in which a plate and five screws were inserted into his leg.2 After sitting out the entire 1999–2000 NBA season, Williams officially announced his retirement on June 28, 2000 at the age of 32 after nine seasons.3 At the time of the injury, Williams was in the first year of a six-year, $90 million contract. In 2005, he briefly came out of retirement to play for the Idaho Stampede of the Continental Basketball Association.4
In 1992, Williams was accused of breaking a beer mug over a patron's head at a saloon in Chicago. Two years later, he was accused of firing a semiautomatic weapon into the parking lot at the Meadowlands Sports Complex. He was never criminally charged in either case.
On February 14, 2002, 55-year-old limousine driver Costas "Gus" Christofi was shot to death at Williams's estate in Alexandria Township, New Jersey.5 Christofi had been hired to drive Williams's NBA charity team from a Bethlehem, Pennsylvania event to his mansion, about 30 miles (48 km) northwest of Trenton, New Jersey. Members of Williams's NBA charity basketball team were present at the scene. The New York Post reported that Williams was playing with a shotgun while giving a tour of his 30,000-square-foot (2,800 m2) home when the weapon fired, killing Christofi.
In April 2004, Williams was acquitted of the more serious charges against him, but the court's jury deadlocked on a charge of reckless manslaughter. He was convicted on four counts of trying to cover up the shooting.6
On April 21, 2006, a Hunterdon County appeals court ruled that Williams could be retried on a reckless manslaughter charge stemming from the shooting death of Christofi.78 The court repeatedly delayed the retrial for a series of reasons, such as the State's 2008 appeal of a ruling relating to prosecutorial misconduct at the first trial.9
On January 11, 2010, Williams pled guilty to aggravated assault.10 On February 23, 2010, he was finally sentenced to 5 years in prison with possible parole after 18 months.11 Williams was subsequently moved on April 19, 201112 to Riker's Island to serve an additional 1-year sentence for a DWI,13 of which he served 8 months and was released from custody on April 13, 2012.1314
The New York City Police Department (NYPD) reported on April 27, 2009, that Williams was stunned with a taser in a New York City hotel by members of the NYPD after reports that Williams had become suicidal and violent. Upon entering the Manhattan hotel room police said that Williams was visibly intoxicated, and that empty bottles of prescription medications were found around the room. Officers stunned him with the taser and took him to a hospital.15
Williams was charged January 5, 2010 with driving while intoxicated after an early morning accident in lower Manhattan, in which he crashed his Mercedes into a tree.17 On August 20, 2010, he was sentenced to an additional year in prison, to be added on to the five-year prison sentence for the shooting death of a limousine driver. He additionally received a $16,433 fine for the damages to the tree.18 Williams was released from prison in April 2012.19
Jayson Williams was the principal owner of the New Jersey Storm of the National Lacrosse League. The franchise operated for two seasons, 2002 and 2003, before moving to Anaheim, California, becoming the Anaheim Storm team. Due to consistently poor results, as well as its presence in tough markets, the Storm failed to make much of an impression and it became defunct before the start of the 2006 season.
In 2001, Williams authored a book about basketball entitled Loose Balls. The book, intended largely to be a humorous recollection of Williams's life in the NBA, was later cited as containing nine separate anecdotes involving his tendency to play with guns, including one where football player Wayne Chrebet is nearly shot and one where the uncle of Manute Bol is threatened playfully with an unloaded handgun.
In 2012, it was reported that he was writing a second book, an autobiography entitled Humbled, that includes revelations about being abused as a child.20
Williams was born in Ritter, South Carolina; he is of Polish, Italian and African-American descent.21 His father, Elijah Joshua Williams, died of a stroke aged 76 in November 2009.22 Williams played high school basketball for Christ The King RHS in New York City and college basketball for the St. John's University.
In 1996 he proposed during a national halftime basketball game to model Cynthia Bailey. The two later parted.
Williams married Kellie Batiste in December 1999; they divorced soon afterward. In 2000, he married Tanya Young; they are divorcing.23 Young was a cast member of VH1's reality TV show Basketball Wives: LA.
- "Broken Leg Sidelines Nets Star Williams". Seattle Times. 1999-04-02.
- "Nets Make Plans Without Williams". Chicago Tribune. 1999-04-03.
- "Nets To Announce Jayson Is Retiring". New York Daily News. 2000-06-28.
- Facing re-trial, Williams joins Idaho team
- Hanley, Robert. "Reporter's Notebook; At Former Nets Star's Trial, A Tangle of Contradictions", The New York Times, February 29, 2004. Retrieved December 20, 2007. "Five friends and four Harlem Globetrotters were in various parts of Jayson Williams's country home in Alexandria Township, N.J., when a chauffeur, Costas Christofi, was killed two years ago by a blast from a shotgun held by Mr. Williams."
- Matt Rainey/The Star-Ledger. "Jayson Williams sentencing comes after lengthy legal battle that spans 8 years". Nj.com. Retrieved 2012-01-02.
- Jones, Richard G. "Ex-Nets Star Faces Retrial for a Shooting at His Home", The New York Times, April 22, 2006, Retrieved April 27, 2009. "Jayson Williams can be retried on a charge of reckless manslaughter stemming from the shooting of a limousine driver in 2002, a New Jersey appeals court ruled on Friday."
-  Attorneys for Jayson Williams say the retired NBA star's convictions related to a fatal shooting should be thrown out because of prosecutorial misconduct.
- Jennifer Golson/The Star-Ledger (2008-01-03). "Jayson Williams retrial on hold as state appeals racial slur ruling". Nj.com. Retrieved 2012-01-02.
- Ex-Net Jayson Williams pleads guilty to fatal shooting of driver; faces minimum 18 months in jail.
- "Williams to serve at least 18 months". Associated Press. February 23, 2010.
- Associated Press, "Former Net Williams Tasered By the Police", April 28, 2009. Retrieved May 14, 2009.
- BET, "Troubled Jayson Williams Busted for Alleged Assault"
- New York Times "Jayson Williams Charged with D.W.I. After Accident"
- Deborah Brunswick (August 20, 2010). "Former NBA player sentenced to additional year in prison". CNN News. Retrieved August 21, 2010.
- Jayson Williams released from prison on Rikers Island
- Daily Sports Newspaper: Former All-Star Jayson Williams, the ‘Moses of Rikers,’ is writing a new book
- "NNDB". NNDB. Retrieved 2012-01-02.
- Amanda Brown/The Star-Ledger. "E.J. Williams, father of former Nets star Jayson Williams, dies at 76". Nj.com. Retrieved 2012-01-02.
- Jayson Williams plea hearing in manslaughter case has been postponeddead link
- Career statistics and player information from NBA.com
- Jayson Williams Historical Player Page at NBA.com
- Jayson Williams at Basketball-Reference.com
- Jayson Williams at the Internet Movie Database
- Jayson Williams at the Notable Names Database
- Jayson Williams at Am I Annoying
- Court TV's coverage of the Williams trial