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#pounditWednesday, January 19, 2022

Articles tagged: Jay Williams

Jay Williams blasts Stephen A. Smith over Aaron Rodgers comments

Stephen A. Smith

Stephen A. Smith was critical of Aaron Rodgers on Thursday for the way the star quarterback misled people about his vaccination status, but Jay Williams was not satisfied with his colleague’s delivery.

During Thursday’s edition of “First Take,” Smith called Rodgers a liar and criticized him for violating the NFL’s COVID-19 protocols for unvaccinated players. He also said Rodgers’ deception hurts his credibility in other areas. You can hear the comments below:

A lot of people were surprised that Smith, who is a big Rodgers fan, came down on the reigning NFL MVP so hard. Williams felt differently. He unloaded on Smith for the way Smith ripped Kyrie Irving for not getting vaccinated compared to how Smith spoke about Rodgers.

Williams seemed to be reaching a bit. Smith is right that it was natural for him to be less animated about Rodgers since those he was discussing the subject with agreed with him. That wasn’t the case when he ripped Irving a few weeks back. Williams defended Irving’s decision to not get vaccinated, which led to a heated debate between him and Smith. You can see that video here.

Of course, the idea of “First Take” is for Smith to argue with his co-hosts. Williams was just doing his part.

Rodgers tested positive for COVID-19 on Wednesday and will miss Sunday’s game against the Kansas City Chiefs. He was asked over the summer if he is vaccinated, and he said he has been “immunized.” We’ve since learned that he was referring to a homeopathic treatment he received.

ESPN’s Jay Williams received death wishes after defending Kyrie Irving

Jay Williams

Jay Williams and Stephen A. Smith got into a heated debate this week over Kyrie Irving’s decision to not get the COVID-19 vaccine, and Williams says people have wished death upon him over the stance he took.

During Wednesday’s edition of ESPN’s “First Take,” Smith was critical of Irving for leaving the Brooklyn Nets hanging by choosing not to get vaccinated. Williams, who said he is pro-vaccine, defended Irving’s right to make a personal decision and do what he feels is right for him and his family. You can see the argument below:

Williams posted an emotional video on Instagram this week in which he revealed that people have told him he doesn’t deserve to live because of his take on Irving.

“You know the crazy s— people say to me on the internet when they disagree with my opinion? … ‘Go hit a pole. Go die again. Duke’s education…’ All this stuff,” Williams said. “Thank god I went through that experience, because I don’t need other people to justify how I think about myself.”

Williams, of course, was a star at Duke and taken with the second overall pick by the Chicago Bulls in the 2002 NBA Draft. He suffered severe injuries in a motorcycle crash in 2003 that ultimately cost him his playing career.

Williams also doubled down on his defense of Irving.

“Kyrie Irving doesn’t owe you anything. He doesn’t owe you a response on your timeline. He doesn’t owe you answers that you feel like you need,” Williams said. “Everybody says, ‘Oh, the NBA season starts in five days.’ Who gives a damn.”

Here’s the full video from Williams:

Almost everyone has an opinion on the Irving situation. There has been speculation that Irving could retire, and the star point guard responded to that this week. Irving has given no indication that he will change his vaccine stance. If he does not, he likely won’t play at all this season.

Jay Williams claims he was hacked after incorrect Celtics tweet

Jay Williams

ESPN analyst Jay Williams tried to backtrack and claim he was hacked after getting ripped for sending a factually incorrect tweet about the Boston Celtics.

Williams tried to applaud the Celtics for their hire of Ime Udoka as their new head coach. However, he called Udoka the “first head coach of color” hired by the team. Williams was wrong.

The Celtics were actually the first North American professional sports team with a black head coach — Bill Russell in 1966. K.C. Jones also coached the team. And it was just over a decade ago that Doc Rivers coached the team to a championship.

Williams later claimed on Twitter that he had been hacked.

Give us a break, Williams. Don’t make an excuse. Don’t say you changed your passcode. Whether it was you or an assistant who helps with your account, someone screwed up badly. And it’s not because of a password issue.

It serves Williams right that his hyper-focus on race backfired. How about just congratulating Udoka on getting the job after paying his dues?

ESPN’s Jay Williams got roasted for his totally wrong tweet about Celtics

Jay Williams

ESPN’s Jay Williams apparently needed a history lesson after sharing a brutally incorrect fact about the Boston Celtics on social media.

On Wednesday, Williams tweeted about the news that the Celtics were closing in on hiring Ime Udoka as the team’s new head coach. In a since-deleted tweet, Williams applauded the hire and added that Udoka would be “the first head coach of color” for the Celtics.

That would be a perfectly fine take if it were remotely true. The Celtics were actually the first North American professional team to hire a black coach when they made Bill Russell player-coach in 1966. Russell and K.C. Jones are the only two black coaches in NBA history with multiple championships, and both accomplished the feat with the Celtics. Boston even had a head coach of color very recently, as Doc Rivers, the last coach to lead the Celtics to a championship, was with the franchise through 2013.

Naturally, plenty of people were eager to call Williams out on how wrong he was.

Williams could be forgiven if this were an obscure fact. But at minimum, Russell is one of the game’s most legendary figures, and Rivers is still an active coach in the NBA. The 2008 title is hardly ancient history, after all.

Williams has dabbled in controversy before, but of a different type. No wonder he deleted his tweet.

ESPN’s Jay Williams responds to Kevin Durant calling him a liar

Jay Williams

Kevin Durant claimed that a story Jay Williams told about him on Tuesday was completely fabricated, but the ESPN analyst is standing by what he said.

Williams recalled on “Get Up!” Tuesday morning the time he once compared Durant to Giannis Antetokounmpo by saying Giannis is like a combination of Durant and Anthony Davis. Williams said Durant caught wind of the analysis and reamed him out over it at a holiday party. K.D. was apparently furious about being compared to Giannis, even if Williams didn’t mean it as an insult.

Durant later unloaded on Williams on both Instagram and Twitter. He said Williams’ story was a lie, among other things. You can read Durant’s posts here.

Then on Wednesday, Williams briefly addressed the situation on his “Keyshawn, JWill and Zubin” radio show. He stood by the Durant story but said he may have been wrong for sharing it.

“I stand by my story,” Williams said. “I was probably wrong for sharing a personal story, but that’s what we do — we share personal stories. … It was meant as a compliment. There are levels to this. It was about saying how different K.D. is. It’s unfortunate that K.D. felt that way at that moment, but I wish K.D. nothing but love and all the best success.”

It seems unlikely that Williams would make up a story like that, so perhaps Durant never wanted it to get out. Williams used the supposed interaction with Durant to illustrate why he believes K.D. will have extra motivation in Brooklyn’s playoff series against the Milwaukee Bucks.

For better or worse, Durant is more active on social media than most athletes. We were reminded of that recently when he appeared to threaten a former NBA player who called out Kyrie Irving. It is hardly a surprise that he went after Williams.

Kevin Durant unloads on ESPN’s Jay Williams over Giannis story

Kevin Durant

Kevin Durant has once again heard something about himself in the media that he did not appreciate, and you knew the Brooklyn Nets star was not going to ignore it.

ESPN’s Jay Williams recalled on “Get Up!” Tuesday morning the time he once compared Durant to Giannis Antetokounmpo by saying Giannis is like a combination of Durant and Anthony Davis. Williams said Durant caught wind of the analysis and reamed him out over it at a holiday party.

Durant claims that never happened. The 11-time All-Star blasted Williams on social media and said Williams fabricated the story.

“Mans will do anything to advance their careers in this media s—, wanting to be accepted by an industry that will dispose of you whenever they please,” Durant wrote on Twitter (edited by LBS for profanity). “Keep me out all that corny a– talk about whos better and legacy and all that dumb a– s—. I don’t even talk like that.”

Durant also responded to the clip on Instagram.

“This is a f—in lie. Jay Williams can NEVER speak for me, ever…” Durant wrote, via Hoop Central.

It seems unlikely that Williams would make up a story like that, so perhaps Durant never wanted it to get out. Williams used the supposed interaction with Durant to illustrate why he believes K.D. will have extra motivation in Brooklyn’s playoff series against the Milwaukee Bucks.

For better or worse, Durant is more active on social media than most athletes. We were reminded of that recently when he appeared to threaten a former NBA player who called out Kyrie Irving. The fact that he went after Williams is hardly a surprise.

ESPN host Jay Williams criticizes LeBron James for passing to Danny Green

Danny Green open

LeBron James is being criticized by some for passing to Danny Green for a shot at the end of Game 5 of the NBA Finals in Lake Buena Vista, Fla. on Friday night.

The Los Angeles Lakers had the ball with 16.8 seconds left down 109-108 against the Miami Heat. James drove towards the basket and attracted about three Heat defenders. He passed back to Green, who had an open look at a three. Green had to gather the ball first as the pass wasn’t perfect. He ended up missing, and Markieff Morris followed with an airball.

ESPN analyst Jay Williams, a former NBA point guard, criticized James for passing.

Many others, including Portland guard C.J. McCollum, disagreed with Williams and thought James made the right play.

Williams and James had an issue in September over another matter, which may play a role here.

After the 111-108 loss, James defended his decision to pass.

“I was able to draw two defenders below the free throw line and find one of our shooters at the top of the key wide open to win a championship. I trusted him. We trusted him. And it just didn’t go. You live with that,” James said after the game.

“It’s one of the best shots we could have gotten. Especially down the stretch. Two guys on me. Danny got a heck of a look. It just didn’t go down. I know he wishes he could have it again. I wish I could make a better pass. You live with it.”

It’s very difficult to argue that James made the wrong play when you see the open look Green had. One person doesn’t win a title; teams do. And from John Paxson to Steve Kerr, even Michael Jordan relied on his teammates to knock down big shots.

James made the right play. The shot just didn’t go down. And a better pass would have helped.

The Lakers still lead the Finals 3-2. Game 6 will be on Sunday.

LeBron James rips Jay Williams for bringing him into debate about Giannis

LeBron James

Former NBA player Richard Jefferson compared Giannis Antetokounmpo to Scottie Pippen on Wednesday night, and the ensuing commentary has spiraled a bit out of control.

With the Milwaukee Bucks losing the first two games of their series against the Miami Heat, Jefferson wondered out loud if Antetokounmpo might be unable to win an NBA title without a superstar teammate. Jefferson said that, like Scottie Pippen, Giannis may need a Michael Jordan.

Not surprisingly, Pippen disagreed with the comparison. He complimented Antetokounmpo for being an NBA MVP and said the two are their own players. He then took a shot at Jefferson. To Jefferson’s credit, he took the swipe in stride.

It didn’t end there. Former NBA point guard Jay Williams also got involved, saying there would be nothing wrong with Giannis needing another superstar to win a championship. Williams pointed out that LeBron James never won a ring until he teamed up with Dwyane Wade.

LeBron didn’t appreciate being dragged into the debate. We edited his response for profanity.

“Explain to me what the f— I gotta do with this subject matter! I’m over here minding my damn business preparing for Houston,” LeBron wrote. “And by the way I ain’t never been nobody but my damn self! S—!”

It seems like LeBron took that a bit personally, because Williams was obviously just trying to stick up for Giannis. If LeBron’s recent remarks about the NBA bubble are any indication, he’s probably feeling a bit more stressed than usual lately.

Jay Williams criticizes ‘tone-deaf’ NBA players for bubble complaints

Jay Williams

Some NBA players aren’t completely thrilled with their accommodations in the NBA’s Orlando bubble, but Jay Williams doesn’t want to hear it.

The ESPN analyst posted a social media video on Sunday criticizing some players for “tone-deaf” comments about the bubble. He added that NBA players who are “getting food delivered to them” and “have beds to sleep in” should not complain about their surroundings when many others are having a much harder time making ends meet during a pandemic.

Several players have voiced frustration with how things are in Orlando, and one even suggested that he was told to stop publicly complaining about the bubble environment.

In contrast, other players have said they’re perfectly comfortable in Orlando. That’s probably the best approach to take, even if things are admittedly awkward and in some ways uncomfortable.

Jay Williams does not think Kevin Durant returning this season is good idea

Kevin Durant

With the NBA season having been postponed, the Brooklyn Nets have not formally ruled out the possibility of Kevin Durant playing this season. Jay Williams thinks they should.

Williams, who hosts ESPN’s “The Boardroom” with Durant, told Marc Berman of the New York Post on Monday that he does not feel it would be wise for Durant to go from not playing the entire season while recovering from a torn Achilles to being thrown into a highly competitive atmosphere.

“I think everybody’s antsy,” Williams said. “As it relates to Kevin, it depends on the timetable of those games and how condensed it is. It’s one thing to come back and start the beginning of next season where there’s time and space between games and [you can] keep your body ramped up the right way. But someone coming back off an injury and go right into a playoff scenario, I don’t think it’s feasible or fair on Kevin himself. But Kevin is his own man. He’ll do what he wants to do.”

The NBA has yet to lay out a plan for the resumption of play, but there has been talk that there could be a three-week training camp period before finishing the season. There is still another month’s worth of games remaining in the regular season, but the NBA could opt to condense that and jump into the playoffs sooner. While Williams said Durant has been working out and is feeling great, he questions if playing this season would be worth the risk.

“It’s about how long will they train? How long will he play five-on-five with physical contact?” Williams said. “There’s a lot of questions that need to be answered. Someone can have great individual workouts and pickup games but until you play in full live-game situation with teammates, I don’t know the answer.”

The Nets are currently in seventh place in the Eastern Conference, but Kyrie Irving is not expected to play again this season because of a shoulder injury. Although Nets GM Sean Marks recently changed his tune a bit when discussing Durant, it still seems highly unlikely that the two-time NBA Finals MVP will play this season.