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Jay Williams Says His Chicago Bulls Teammates Got High Before Games

The New York Times profile of ESPN college basketball analyst Jay Williams is a fascinating read about an athlete reaching the highest of highs and the lowest of lows. It explores his thoughts of suicide following a devastating motorcycle accident that derailed his NBA career.

It also contains allegations that his Chicago Bulls teammates would smoke marijuana before games during the 2002-2003 season. Then a rookie, Williams was also surprised by their habit of gambling on team trips.

“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?’ ”

He noticed the nervous laughter around the kitchen table. “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.”

Here are his teammates that year. Wonder which ones he’s talking about.

  • Jalen Rose
  • Eddie Robinson
  • Roger Mason
  • Donyell Marshall
  • Fred Hoiberg
  • Trenton Hassell
  • Marcus Fizer
  • Eddy Curry
  • Jamal Crawford
  • Tyson Chandler
  • Rick Brunson
  • Corie Blount
  • Lonny Baxter
  • Dalibor Bagaric

[Photo via USA Today Sports]

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