“Most people think that I hate on Michael Jordan,” he told me.
“And I don’t. I idolize Michael Jordan. I’m just as competitive as Michael Jordan. I may have not won six championships but damn, I want to be the best version of myself too. I met him going into my sophomore year of college. I worked the Michael Flight Camp out in Santa Barbara and that was a year for me and my career when it kind of skyrocketed — I remember we were playing one-on-one and I was trying to go at his throat. I was like, I didn’t care who he was, he was talking to me calling me “Duke boy” calling me all these different things and I was like, “You can call me whatever you want. I’m gonna try to rip your damn head off!”
Williams was the Chicago Bulls‘ was the Chicago Bulls’ second pick in the 2002 NBA Draft. He raised some eyebrows when he actually used Michael Jordan’s locker at the United Center in Chicago. “Obviously going to the Bulls was a monumental thing for me and I caught so much slack man,” said Williams.
“Because I took his locker! Scoop, his locker was empty. It was empty for like, two years. And everybody was like, ‘Aww man. That’s MJ’s locker…’ and I’m like, “Give it to me! I’ll take it! Shit, last time somebody sat at this locker, we were winning games! I’m trying to have that rub off on me!” and I remember I got destroyed in the media for it. Destroyed. And him and I had talked and he said, “Man, take that locker. Be yourself. Be different. Keep leading.” right? So for me he’s always been that person. He’s always been that inspiration.”
Jay Williams was named to the NBA’s All-Rookie Second team in 2003. In 75 games as a member of the Bulls, the former Duke Champion averaged 9.5 points and 4.7 assists per game before a tragic motorcycle accident ended his career.