It’s a sad story, but hopefully now it is over.
Jayson Williams was an NBA All-Star who seemed poised to have a good career post-playing in the broadcast booth. But that all came crashing down hard 10 years ago when a shotgun Williams was holding in his home discharged and killed his driver, Costas “Gus” Christofi.
Williams was sentenced to five years for that crime (serving 18 months) plus more time for a driving under the influence charge, but he was let out of a New Jersey prison Friday, reports the Star-Ledger.
“I am eager to see my daughters, my mother and siblings and make amends for what they’ve been through,” Williams told The Associated Press through his manager. “Start my life over with God being first and in the center of everything I do.”
Williams was a standout player at St. John’s who was one of the better rebounding big men in the game in the 1990s. He was a 1998 All-Star, but in 1999 a collision with teammate Stephon Marbury left his Williams’ leg shattered and he never played in another NBA game.
He went into the broadcast booth and was a rising star there until the incident where his driver was killed. Williams was found guilty by a jury of trying to cover up the shooting but they could not reach agreement on manslaughter charges. Williams reached a plea that had him spend 18 months in jail. When out, the DUI violated his parole and sent him back to prison for 8 months.
Hopefully now he can put everything behind him and move on with his life.
This is a huge season — a contract kind of season of sorts — for Noah Vonleh in Portland. The team has an option on him next season (the third of his rookie deal), and to impress people he is going to have to earn minutes at the four in front of Al-Farouq Aminu, Moe Harkless, Meyers Leonard, and Ed Davis.
The Blazers have high hopes for Vonleh, he was a central part of the Nicolas Batum trade with Charlotte. However, watching Vonleh at Summer League — 12 points a game on 46.3 percent shooting, 8.8 rebounds a game in more than 30 minutes a night — he didn’t show the development anyone had hoped to see. He should have dominated at that level. He didn’t.
Now there another injury setback for him.
He should be good to go around the start of training camp at the end of September.
But he can’t afford a slow start in training camp (that set him back his rookie season). He needs to show what he can do from day one, or Portland is going to move on without him.
The Boston Celtics have 16 players with guaranteed contracts and NBA rules allow just 15 players on the roster. Which means if a trade doesn’t happen by the start of the season, someone is going to get cut but still paid for the season.
This doesn’t change that.
The Celtics signed guard John Holland last season (he played a total of one playoff minute for them), but the deal was not guaranteed for this season. From Shams Charania of The Vertical at Yahoo Sports.
This was expected. Holland, who has played on the Puerto Rican national team, will be looking for a new gig either in the D-League or overseas (it’s unlikely an NBA team offers more than a training camp invite) By the end of training camp, the Celtics also likely will cut second-round pick Ben Bentil of Providence, who had a partially guaranteed deal.
That will leave R.J. Hunter and James Young battling it out for the final roster spot in Boston.
Ty Lawson is headed to the Kings, as first reported on Monday. The team made the move official on Wednesday with a press release, and USA Today‘s Sam Amick offers up another important piece of information: Lawson’s deal is not guaranteed, making it essentially a make-good camp invite.
It’s staggering how Lawson went from a borderline All-Star level point guard in 2012-13 to signing a non-guaranteed one-year deal with a lottery team three years later. His off-the-court issues have contributed to that, and he didn’t produce last season in Houston and Indiana. Still, he should have a pretty good chance of making the Kings’ roster, with Seth Curry and Rajon Rondo gone and Darren Collison their only proven point guard. They need depth there.
When Ben Simmons declared for the NBA draft this spring, he signed with LeBron James‘ Klutch Sports group for representation. That association would appear to have its advantages for the No. 1 overall pick, including the opportunity to work out with James and Dwyane Wade during the offseason. Wade posted a group photo on Instagram on Wednesday afternoon:
Also, it’s pretty staggering to see Simmons standing next to James and realizing that he’s bigger and taller.