Former NBA All-Star Jayson Williams Shares Crazy Stories About '90s NBA Drinking Culture

Jayson Williams shared some interesting stories about '90s NBA drinking culture.

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Complex Original

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Former New Jersey Nets All-Star power forward Jayson Williams is ubiquitously known for his genial personality and droll sense of humor. But he is forever linked to the February 14, 2002 accidental shooting death of his driver Costas "Gus" Christofi while drunkenly playing with his shotgun while sitting inside his parked limousine at his former Alexandria Township, N.J. mansion.

With the help of NBA Hall of Famer and sponsor Chris Mullin, Williams has since sobered up, but he's still got some stories to tell. Williams took some time away from his mentoring job at the Epiphany's Treatment Center in West Palm Beach, Fla. to speak with Vice Sports about the craziness of '90s NBA party culture. The New York City native starts off the podcast with hilarious tales that will make you laugh about these 24-hour party people that happens to represent one of the greatest eras in NBA history. He gives anecdotes of the following:

  • His rookie year during the 1990-91 season about the tallest—and arguably the skinniest—man in NBA history and former 7-foot-7 Sixers teammate Manute Bol "never played sober in one basketball game during his NBA career" because the team wanted him to gain weight, the weird self-mutilation tactics he used to keep track of his own age, and scolding reporters to stop looking at his exposed manhood in the team's locker room.
  • How NBA players were scared stiff of Michael Jordan, knowing he was the best player that helped bring big contracts to the league, and that he traveled with his own private jet full of his entourage of bar-loitering street goons that trailed the Bulls' team plane to away games.
  • Former Sixers teammate Charles Barkley being the laziest teammate imaginable who was always late to practice and rode an exercise bike while watching and screaming obscenities at his teammates.
  • How guarding Larry Bird killed his morale and made him contemplate suicide after he dunked on Williams his rookie year.
  • The funny reflection on how several away games for the 1992-93 Nets squad—which he considers the best Nets team in franchise history, better than the Jason Kidd-led ones that went to consecutive NBA Finals in 2002 and 2003—were lost because the team was too drunk from partying the night before, similar to the Warriors when they lost to the lowly Lakers last season.

The NBA retiree also quips about how today's NBA players are "too friendly" to each other with lack of pride in team ball eclipsed by too much individualism. Williams also talks in depth about his experience in prison after being convicted for the death of his driver, and how he is still haunted by the fact that he murdered his driver. To hear the amazing stories, you can click on the podcast below.


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