Jayson Williams Is Sober, Gunless, Brutally Honest, And Determined Not To Go Back To Prison

When last we saw former NBA All-Star Jayson Williams, he was pleading guilty to aggravated assault in the 2002 accidental shooting death of his chauffeur. That was more than two years ago. Including a separate guilty plea for drunken driving, Williams spent 26 months in jail before being released in April. Across the river from Manhattan, while "dressed in a New Jersey Nets T-shirt and Chicago Bulls practice shorts," Williams gave an extensive interview to the Associated Press���his first since his release���in which he made no attempt to hide from his past:

''People say, 'Jay, you're a great guy, you just had a couple of bad nights,''' Williams said. ''People that have themselves under control don't have a couple of bad nights like that. Plain and simple. I could have been better. That's my goal now, to be better.''

Williams hasn't had a drink in more than two years. He gave up his guns. He's volunteering. He wrote a book from prison in which he reveals he was sexually abused as a child. In the interview, Williams took full responsibility for his actions on the night he accidentally shot and killed Costas Christofi then coldly tried to cover it up���wiping off the weapon, placing it in Christofi's hands, stripping, and jumping in a pool:

"To be honest, you just think about the damage you caused, from the shooting to the irresponsible way I acted after,'' he said. ''It's just so painful, you try not to think of it. I acted that way. I've got to take responsibility.

[...]

''I've never been in trouble without alcohol,'' he said. ''So I took it away. I'm damn sure not going back to jail.''

I recommend reading the entire AP story. Jayson Williams is a 44-year-old former multi-millionaire who will spend the rest of his life wrestling with the guy he used to be. That's not going to be easy.

[Associated Press]