Welcome to episode No. 39 of the Sports Illustrated Media Podcast with Richard Deitsch. In this podcast, which is published weekly, Deitsch interviews members of the sports media about their work and interesting people about the sports media. This week’s podcast guest is ESPN college basketball analyst Jay Williams, who recently published a memoir this week titled Life Is Not An Accident: A Memoir of Reinvention.
In this episode, Williams talks in-depth about his struggles initially in broadcasting, how former colleague Doug Gottleib would—in Williams’s words—try to embarrass him on air and point out his mistakes early in his time at ESPN, his depression and dependency on OxyContin following the end of his NBA career, his suicide attempts, whether Duke coach Mike Krzyzewski would enter broadcasting fulltime, his double date with Serena Williams, NBA players smoking marijuana during his era and more.
Williams is currently dating Fox Sports host (and former guest on this podcast) Charissa Thompson, and he talks frankly about what they’ve faced as an interracial public couple and the challenges of dating someone in the same profession.
A reminder: you can subscribe to the podcast on iTunes and Stitcher, and you can view all of SI’s podcasts here. If you have any feedback, questions or suggestions, please comment here or tweet at Deitsch.