ESPN’s Jay Williams Opens Up About Addiction to Painkillers
Just recently, ESPN analyst Jay Williams was the subject of an interview conducted by Sports Illustrated. To promote his new memoir, “Life is Not an Accident.” Williams discussed the motorcycle accident that ended his career and its aftermath.
A promising career
The former basketball player attended Duke University, where he was named ACC Rookie of the Year. He led a very successful college basketball career, earning the prestigious Naismith Award and Wooden Award.
In a 2002 NBA draft, Williams was selected by the Chicago Bulls as the second overall pick
On June 19, 2003, Williams’ life would be forever changed. He crashed his Yamaha R6 motorcycle into a streetlight in Chicago. He wasn’t wearing a helmet. And not to mention the fact that he wasn’t licensed to ride a motorcycle in the state and was violating his Bulls contract by riding one altogether.
As a result of the crash, Williams severed a main nerve in his leg, fractured his pelvis, and dislocated ligaments in his left knee, including his ACL. While undergoing physical therapy to regain the use of his leg. The Bulls drafted another point guard. Once it became clear that Williams would not be able to return to the sport, the Bulls waived him, giving him $3 million to use towards rehabilitation. They legally did not have to pay him salary because he violated the contract.
No chance of a rebound
Despite several attempts over the next few years to “get back in the game,” Williams ultimately announced in 2006 that he had no plans to resume his basketball career. He now works as a basketball analyst for ESPN and does some motivational speaking as well.
In his book “Life Is Not An Accident,” Williams says he became addicted to the prescription drug OxyContin. And this was while Williamsrecovering in the hospital after his crash. Once his medical prescriptions ran out, he admitted to a routine where on the first Monday of every month.
He would go to a bar across the street from his place and wait for his drug dealer to hand him $500 worth of pills. Williams confessed that there were nights he would wake up in unrecognizable places. And even woke up on a subway platform one afternoon.
The low point in his life, was when he grabbed a bottle of Jack Daniel’s and locked himself in his bedroom with a bottle of OxyContin in his hand. In the book he writes that he took the drugs and passed out. But “to my disappointment I woke up the next day. Still in the same place.”
In conclusion, it wasn’t until Williams quit cold turkey and found peace within himself after finding religion that he was really able to move forward with a fulfilling feeling in life. Cold turkey is not always the right move, nor is it the easiest one. If you’re struggling with addiction, The Watershed is here to help. We are available 24/7, so call us today: 1-800-861-1768.Tags: celebrity news and gossip, pain treatment, prescription painkillers