jay williams had a sad story but it seems like he'll be able to play again soon
High Hopes for '05
I hope everyone had a good holiday season. I am doing fine after having my last surgery on my left foot, but I'm just real anxious. I have a black cast on it right now, so I am just kind-of waiting around to get this thing off and get moving when I get home on the fifth.
I've been out of commission for about the past week and a half, so I just have to stay patient and lay low for a few more days. I know that I can't rush this one, so I'm only working out all the other parts of my body, so that when it is ready I can push it as hard as I can.
Upper body workouts have been a consistent routine, but as far as the lower body goes, there's just not much for me to do.
Like everyone else I had to watch the whole Kobe-Shaq reunion, and I
thought it was kind of funny considering how Shaq has a way of translating things onto TV. Individually, you give it to Kobe because he had a phenomenal game, but the funny thing is that in these situations, the better team wins. Everybody could have a great player, but if the organization doesn't get the best players around him, then the team is not going to do as well. Being a point guard, I'd rather have a big guy like Shaq - he's irreplaceable. Kobe's irreplaceable too, don't get me wrong, but the things that Shaq brings - scoring, defense, rebounding, defense, passion are too much
to ever give up.Dwyane Wade is a great talent, and the addition of Christian Laettner has been great for them too.
I think the Heat can win the East, especially if the core guys stay healthy. There are a few teams that come close, but even Detroit has been a little lackluster thus far, so I think Miami is hands-down the best in the East. If the Pistons can get it clicking, I'd really look forward to that series.
I watched some of the Indiana-Detroit game too, but I don't think that the Pacers can overcome all of their missing parts at this point.
Off the court, I've still been working on other things, like studying for a Series 6 Exam. If you saw this book I am reading, called 'Series 6, Securities and Equities' you'd know that it's going to take awhile, but I am about three-fourths of the way done. I will take my time with that, because the better understanding of the book I have, the better off I'll be. The goal is to pass the test and get a license.
I am on calls every other morning with the company I am with in New York, listening to what they have to say about the market. I am still working on the jargon, but I understand the gist of it most of the time. It's always about what is going with on with stocks, bonds, certain trades, the value of the dollar.
Also, I will be working with ESPN soon, but right now it's too much of a risk for me to travel like this. I'll be doing games in a few weeks. I've been practicing by watching games and reading up on some of the teams I expect.
But trust me, my first priority right now is to basketball and my body. Hopefully, this is my year to make it happen. Happy New Year!
Posted by Jay Williams - Jan 3 2005 9:53AM
My Last Surgery
This week marks the beginning of the end of my long rehabilitation.
I just had a surgery on my left foot, so the bad news is that I'm kind of hurting right now. The good news is that it was my last surgery. So right now my leg is elevated after the tube was taken out of it.
They had to do a tendon transfer. That was the reason that I was having a hard time running, because the nerve that helps your foot move up and down basically got severed. If I didn't have my brace on, I was walking so that my foot was basically dragging on the ground. What the tendon transfer did was take a tendon on the inside of my foot that use to pull my foot in and move that to the top of my foot to give me the ability to pick my foot up on my own again.
So, I had a nice little two hour surgery on Tuesday and I've just kind of been laying low ever since. I'm in a soft cast now, and it will be that way for two weeks, then I will go to a hard cast for about four weeks. Then its straight out to the wolves again - playing basketball, running without a brace on. I will then have eight months before that time next year when it is my time.
Mentally, I'm feeling great right now, mostly because this week the doctors said my knee is back to 98%, they said it is "rock solid". The doctor was also pleased with how the surgery went, so everything is leaning in the right direction.
I've been working so hard for so long to finally get to this point right now, where all of my surgeries have been completed and it will just be about me taking my shot. I finally got here and I've just got to keep taking strides to try to make it end up the best way it can.
But even in my time off the court, I keep busy. Along with my interest in broadcasting and working with ESPN, I've also been preparing for the Series 6 Exam (for sales of Mutual Funds and Variable Annuities). Once I'm in the hard cast I will be able to start working some games for ESPN, but I'm in a very fragile state right now in the soft cast.
I'll be able to go home to New Jersey for Christmas, so that's nice. I will have some free time for a few weeks, but I learned my lesson a few years ago when I had some free time and I rode a motorcycle. This time, I'm going to stick to reading and watching TV and getting caught up in the little things in life that I miss doing so much. Have a great holiday season. Give thanks for every little thing that you have.
Posted by Jay Williams - Dec 10 2004 1:57PM
Higher Standard; Sonic Boom
A lot of things have happened since I last checked in. First off, it's now the holiday season --- a season of giving thanks. I'm thankful that I've come as far as I have, because people hadn't expected me to reach this point. I'm thankful for my family and friends and everything, so it is really good to come home to New Jersey and hang with them.
I've been hitting the rehab program hard and I will continue to do so next week, but I've been taking a break. Nothing like some home cooking for a change, you know? I've still been shooting a little bit this week but I've spent most of the time relaxing and golfing. Even in the cold, I walked most of the 36 holes the other day.
At this point in the NBA season, there's already been a lot to talk about. It was really sad to see everything unfold the way it did in Auburn Hills between the Pacers and the Pistons. I know it's somewhat of a touchy subject, but just being honest ---- there were times when I've been in certain places as a player, and I had been hit by objects as well. Ron Artest's reaction was out of control, but a few rowdy fans should not be allowed to do what they did as well. The best solution for Ron would have been to just walk away from the situation.
I think a big part of being a professional athlete is that if you are fortunate enough to earn the privilege of competing on this level. You are held to a higher standard everywhere in life. You're paid to do your job and, part of that job is to take criticism from the media and from fans. If it was me, I would have been very frustrated and mad at the situation, but I think I would have had called security over and have the guy kicked out. Besides, the first thing I would be thinking is, 'Well, I think I'll have to walk away. I don't want to run the risk of losing the balance of my salary this season.'
There really wasn't any reason for any of that to happen. Period. As a result, both sides will, and in some instances, are suffering the consequences.
Back to the season itself: I had a chance to visit Ray Allen before I was hurt, back when he was in Milwaukee. My friend and I drove there from Chicago. It was the first time I had met him. He's just a great guy with a great wife and son. He went through a lot, trying to get accustomed after the trade to Seattle and to see him and that team to get it together is a great thing. You can tell he's the Sonics leader, bringing everyone together.
He's in the prime of his career and it will be interesting to see if he has a long-term future there or not since he's in the last year of his deal. Actually, their coach --- Nate McMillan -- and several other players are also in the last year of their deals. I know the Blazers cooled them off last night in Portland but I don't see any reason why the Sonics can't sustain their success for the rest of the season and be a legitimate playoff threat.
What's nice about that team is not only have they been shooting lights out but have been playing primarily without Flip Murray, one of my favorite players. Once he returns, it will only help them.
Posted by Jay Williams - Dec 1 2004 2:31PM
Expansion in Name Only
I took the two hour drive from Durham to Charlotte and saw the Bobcats play in person against the Jazz the other night and whoa, let me tell you, the fans are certainly pumped up for NBA basketball. I experienced it first hand. It was a great atmosphere. The fans were into every possession and the Bobcat mascot was doing his thing, whipping the crowd into a frenzy, even riding his motorcycle on to the court. That got me pumped up.
The Bobcats may be an expansion team but they are very competitive. The Jazz barely defeated them as my guy Carlos Boozer set a career high with 34 points (I think I deserve an assist for that effort!).
The Bobcats have a nice nucleus. I love the energy that Keith Bogans brings to the team and he had a great game, scoring 28. Eddie House is a nice addition and I like what I saw in Emeka Okafur. I think he is only going to get better over time, especially when he develops more confidence. I love the fact that they have a classy veteran like Steve Smith on the team to help guide the young guys. I know from personal experience. It's easy to get caught up in the fast paced life of the NBA during your rookie season and you need a veteran to burst your bubble from time to time to put things in perspective. It's too bad Jason Hart was injured because I really wanted to see him play.
Even though the team is 1-6, their record is misleading. They are a lot more competitive than people gave them credit for before the start of the season. I can't wait for them to get their own arena, a place to truly call their own.
The team was very gracious and they even spotlighted me during the game and I even heard a few boos -- in Carolina! No doubt, the Tar Heel fans were voicing their displeasure. It probably didn't help that every time Carlos scored, I jumped up in excitement.
The team invited me to the Cavs game two nights later but I couldn't go, needing to continue my rehab. However, I do look forward to going to a few more games this season. You never know, down the road, if they have a need for a guard, I would love to do it. Of course, out of respect for John Paxson and the Bulls, I would give them the first opportunity but I couldn't help but think of the possibilities in Charlotte as I watching the game.
Posted by Jay Williams - Nov 20 2004 10:12AM
As most of you know, I've been working out and shooting for awhile here in Durham, N.C., and I actually dunked for the first time. It definitely was a great thing, but kind of scary. I've been jumping up and touching rims for the past two months, but it's been so hard to go --- especially off my left -- to get the confidence to do that. It was so exciting, I actually kind of cried. Maybe that sounds weird to some of you, but for someone who many thought wasn't going to be able to walk, to be able to dunk the ball is a great accomplishment to me.
Overall, I'm still doing great, just working out hard every day. I'm still having some problems with my foot, so I am going to wait and see if I may need another surgery. My body feels great. I weigh 190 pounds and I'm in the best shape I've ever been. I can go on a bike or one of those elliptical machines all day long now. Granted, it isn't the same as being in great basketball shape, but it's certainly a good start. As soon as I figure out this last part of the puzzle regarding my foot, which should be in the next three weeks, then it's time to play basketball all of the time, and hopefully I can be on an NBA court next year.
Thanks to NBA League Pass, I've been able to watch my buddy Carlos Boozer and watch him and the Jazz take care of business. They're off to a great start. Andrei Kirilenko is getting like six blocks a game and Carlos is being counted on, similar to the way Karl Malone was, to provide the foundation for them, on and off the court.
Posted by Jay Williams - Nov 11 2004 5:42PM
I've been following the preseason, just like everyone else. Here are some quick impressions ...... It's great to see Chris Duhon (a fellow Blue Devil and Chicago Bull) doing well. I'm really happy for him. The Bulls will be competitive, but they are still very young and this is a league full of veterans. It's rare that rookies can come in and lead right away. That's why LeBron and 'Melo are so special.
When you play with a veteran team it's so much different because positions are already established. For example, in Minnesota, you know KG is the go-to guy, you know you have him, Sprewell, Wally and Sam. You know those are your guys to get the ball to. With a young team, you have so many guys who are trying to get that big contract and be that big-time player that nobody really has their role firmly in place. Chris might be able to take over that role as their leader.
Right now, I'm really enjoying watching Miami play. Of course, you've got Shaq there, but Dwyane Wade is really turning into a
great basketball player. I know a lot of people already feel that way, but knowing the League and the position, I really see something
special in his mentality. He has a killer mentality, he's been shooting the ball much better and we already know his all-around game is high quality.
My only concern for the Heat might be their lack of depth. They have some quality guys who will be stepping up after Caron Butler and Lamar Odom were sent to L.A., but over a long NBA season every team has to deal with injuries. By the time the postseason comes around, I think they might need to have picked up someone to help them out. I know at least one young point guard who hopes to be ready to return to action by then.
Right now, I'd still pick Detroit to take both the East (and ultimately, the whole thing). After last season's Finals, you know they know how to deal with Shaq. After everyone else is making these big trades and moves, Detroit might be under the radar, but they're still the best team in the East.
As for possible individual surprises this season, look for Jamal Crawford in New York. I love J.C. I admit I really get frustrated
when I watch him play with Steph, because I know it could have been me and him, but he's really been doing well. Isiah is giving him
the freedom he needs to do the awesome things he is capable of.
Houston might need to make a few moves to solidify the supporting cast for Yao and T-Mac, but coach Van Gundy certainly knows what he's doing. Hey, maybe oneday I'll be coached by him. He's a great guy.
In the West, I like Minnesota and Sacramento. I'm a big Chris Webber fan and, after rehabbing my leg with him, I got to see his drive and determination to overcome an injury up close. He can come back and be the same player he had been.
That reminds me, I've always been a Yankees fan my entire life, and to see the Red Sox win the ALCS after being down 0-3, I kind of found myself rooting for them a bit, because right now, that's my life. I'm 0-3; everybody's counting me out, and they showed the type of comeback that no one anywhere had ever expected was possible.
There's also San Antonio and Phoenix. Steve Nash is one of my all-time favorite point guards. The Lakers are Kobe's team now and it will be a challenge that they're not used to. He always rises to challenges. If he brings his all-around game and gets his teammates
in on the action as much as needed, they can do well and surprise some people.
I can't wait for opening tip off on November 2!
Posted by Jay Williams - Oct 22 2004 1:37PM
Getting That Basketball Itch
Comeback Update: Things are going alright, right now. It's all about sticking with the rehab process and working hard every day. I'm not doing the same knee bending stuff I had been doing, but I'm still working on things that focus straight to my leg - concentrated weights and running. I still get tired after running for a little bit, but things are getting going.
I've been getting a lot of shots in every day, and playing a lot of half-court stuff. I haven't yet started with full-court practicing. I am starting to get my competitive edge back, which is a really good sign, because that kind of thing can diminish after not being out there for a while. The competitive side has always been there, but being able to be physically competitive really brings it up to a whole other level.
When I play right now, it's for under two hours. I need to be careful about over-exerting myself, so when it starts to get to that time, I'm just like, "Sorry guys, I'm done playing today".
At this time of year, it's easy to get that basketball itch. For my entire life prior to this year and last, right when the weather starts getting cold - that's been my time. Of course, I miss it, but it just makes me work harder and keep my focus right now, because there's really nothing else for me to do down here other than play basketball.
I plan on being in camp a year from now. I know I've got a year to do it, and I've got to get it done in that time or it's not going to
happen for me.
Jerry Stackhouse and I just returned from a trip to Korea, where adidas was doing a huge three-on-three tournament. There were kids
there from all different Asian countries - the Phillipines, Taiwan, Hong Kong, Singapore. I was amazed at the sheer amount of people there. It reminded me a lot like New York although New York is a lot more diverse.
Some of the food we ate was interesting to me. I tried fish in the morning for breakfast, and it was really good at the time, but I
ended up getting food poisoning and had to go to the hospital to get shots. The hospital was a real trip, since nobody understood
what anybody was saying and you know I've had a lot of experiences with hospitals. Doctors and nurses seem to know me on a first
name basis, but not those in Korea. Even if they did, though, there was the language barrier.
Like everyone else, I'm excited about seeing what happens this season. Of course, I'm anxious to see Miami and how they'll gel with
Shaq and how a team will go from the lower middle of the pack to the top with just one player - that will be really interesting to watch. Dallas is going to be interesting too, especially after losing Steve Nash and picking up Stackhouse, Jason Terry and rookie Devin Harris. The Lakers are definitely Kobe's team now. He's in charge so that will certainly be worth watching.
My preseason prediction: I think Detroit is going to win it again. They are the most consistent team, they do all the little things plus they picked up Derrick Coleman and Antonio McDyess. I think, especially coming after the Olympics, coach Brown will have a little more fire than before. Even though they are the defending champs, the Pistons seemed to have flown under the radar this offseason, given the splashy offseason moves by a lot of other teams. Right now, they are the best TEAM until proven otherwise.
Posted by Jay Williams - Sep 25 2004 9:08AM
It's been awhile .... Hope everyone is having a great summer ..... As the summer days begin to dwindle, my rehab is going as strong as ever. To bring everyone up to speed, I have been dribbling and shooting for quite a while now, but I started playing basketball again probably about four or five months ago. I've been actively participating in camps and clinics, so I have been doing drills and stuff like that. The first time that I started doing drills again, I would jog from one spot to another to shoot and I almost passed out. It was such a good feeling - to be really tired and strained. I hadn't felt that in so long.
I'd like to be playing a lot more competitively right now, but it's coming along. I'm behind my own schedule at the moment, but I am harder on myself than anyone else could ever be. Compared to what my therapists and doctors say, they think I'm ahead of schedule, but I feel like I'm behind. It's really just a matter of perspective and point-of-view.
On an NBA level, my game is probably at 65 or 70 percent right now. I'm still able to do a lot of things I wasn't able to do, but there's some things with speed and quickness that I will need to work on. There's a whole trust issue with my left leg, building my confidence is very important.
If there's any pain, my mind won't let my body feel it. Even if I get the regular soreness that comes with playing for a couple hours, icing it down makes it easy.
Right now, I feel like my body can be ready by mid-season at the earliest to return to the league, but I don't want to rush this. I can't be one of those guys who comes back, steps onto the court and gets injured immediately and has to miss lots of time. A great thing I have on my side is that I'm 22 years old, just getting ready to turn 23 on September 10. If I did wait a full year, I'd only be 24 and I'd be right in the prime of my career.
Like everyone else, I've been spending much of this summer watching the USA Men's Basketball team at the Olympics in Athens. I am even more interested than usual since Carlos Boozer is one of my best friends and I played on the National Team during the World Championships in 2002. I hope they do it, I think they can win the next couple of games and take the gold medal, but what's happened has to show everyone that we can't put together a team in three weeks and expect talent to dominate. Our standards are so high here. Some people are down on the team, but most don't understand that many of the other teams in international competition have been together for eight or nine years. I think we always have an advantage of selecting from the best players in the world, but this is not about having the best players, it's about having the best team. We have to find out what kind of team we have. We'll know very soon.
Posted by Jay Williams - Aug 25 2004 1:04PM