Jay Williams was the subject of a lengthy feature in the New York Times Sunday, and the biggest news item of the 6,000 word piece was the former point guard’s allegation that some of his teammates would smoke weed before games.
The Chicago Tribune tracked down a couple Bulls from the 2002-2003 team Williams was on, and – shocker! – they’re not happy.
Said Rick Brunson, who is now an assistant coach with the Bobcats:
“I like Jay, but when you make blanket statements, you incriminate everyone. You have to look in the mirror first: ‘Did I contribute to some of those things?’ Your career didn’t go the way it should’ve gone. Let it go. You’re doing a great job on ESPN. You should be honored and blessed the Bulls paid you.”
Added Donyell Marshall:
“My thing is, why say these things now?” said Donyell Marshall, one of the team leaders from 2002-03. “You don’t need to be making people assume. You’re messing up situations for other people. Now, instead of Fred (Hoiberg, coach of Iowa State) focusing on the NCAA tournament or whatever, he’s got to deal with that (crap).”
Yes, because obviously, The Mayor Fred Hoiberg was smoking buds and sitting on the bench for 36 of 48 minutes. The Tribune also tried to reach out to ESPN’s Jalen Rose, who declined comment. They did add this note about Rose and Williams:
Tension was palpable between Williams and Jalen Rose, who famously tweaked Williams after the No. 2 overall pick missed all five free-throw attempts in a season-opening victory at Boston. “In the NBA, we just call that choking,” Rose said that night.
Wow, who says that about a teammate? Here’s the game story from 2002. Three Bulls – anonymously – told the Tribune they did try to visit Williams in the hospital (in the Times story, he said nobody visited him), but they were rebuffed by his family. [Tribune]