Williams sets Nets rebounding record

Updated: January 31, 2003, 4:00 PM ET
By Mike Puma | Special to ESPN.com

Signature game

Oct. 31, 1997 - On opening night, Jayson Williams helped ruin Larry Bird's head coaching debut by grabbing a career-high and Nets-record 17 offensive rebounds in leading New Jersey to a 97-95 victory over the Indiana Pacers.

Williams finished with 20 total rebounds, including one off a Sherman Douglas airball that Williams laid in with 38 seconds remaining to boost the Nets' lead to 97-92. "That was a pass," Williams said laughing. "If I don't say that, I won't get the ball."

Williams turned to mental warfare in the final moments of the game. When the Pacers' Rik Smits was awarded two fouls shots with four-tenths of a second remaining and Indiana trailing by two, Williams told him, "You know you're going to miss them both." Smits obliged.

Odds and ends

  • While at Christ the King High School, Williams says three colleges offered him $50,000 to attend their schools.

  • Williams says he added 60 pounds of muscle, growing to 233 pounds, while sitting out his freshman season at St. John's.

  • Williams claims he quit the team 12 times while at St. John's.

  • He graduated n four years, receiving his bachelor's degree in communication arts in 1990.

  • Williams started only 11 games over his first four NBA seasons. He came off the bench for 173 games in that span.

  • After his half-sisters Linda and Laura died, Williams adopted their children. He has a son Ejay and a daughter Monique.

  • When Monique had a baby, Williams became a grandfather at 27, in 1995, joining Robert Parish as the only grandfathers in the league.

  • Williams scored a career-high 35 points against the Atlanta Hawks on April 20, 1996.

  • Despite averaging only 23.2 minutes in 1995-96, Williams grabbed 10 rebounds per game. He finished behind only Dennis Rodman in minutes-to-rebound ratio.

  • During the 1996-97 season, he became the first NBA player to host his own internet broadcast, "Jayson's Boardroom."

  • Williams grabbed a career-high 26 rebounds against the Cleveland Cavaliers on Nov. 13, 1997.

  • In the 1998 All-Star Game, Williams scored four points and grabbed 10 rebounds.

  • His 21 rebounds in a 1998 playoff game tied Derrick Coleman's Nets' playoff record.

  • Williams was named to the NBA All-Interview first team in 1998 and 1999.

  • During the 1998-99 NBA labor lockout, Williams donated $20,000 to Continental Airlines Arena workers.

  • Williams retired second in Nets history with 1,337 offensive rebounds and fourth with 2,968 total rebounds.

  • He made 3-of-24 shots from three-point range for his career.

  • Williams was a career 44 percent shooter from the floor and 60.6 percent shooter from the foul line.

  • In nine career playoff games, Williams averaged 3.3 points and 5.4 rebounds.

  • During his playing career, Williams was a partner in a construction company in New Jersey.

  • Williams married Kellie Batiste in December 1997. They were divorced five months later because, Williams said, she tried to come between him and his friends and family.

  • Williams met his second wife, Tanya, while in college, but the two weren't married until Williams retired from the NBA.

  • Williams appeared in the movie New Jersey Turnpike.

  • After building a 30,000-square foot mansion on 60 acres in Alexandria Township, N.J., Williams says he bought a 150-pound rottweiler for protection.

  • Williams considers Bill Cosby a good friend.

  • In 2001, Williams became owner of the New Jersey Storm, a franchise in the National Lacrosse League. Williams picked "Storm" as a tribute to his alma mater, the St. John's Red Storm.