A different Jayson Williams

January 5, 2010 12:43:38 PM PST
It seems so long ago, back when Jayson Williams was perceived as a great guy. The then-New Jersey Nets forward saw a story, I believe it was on Eyewitness News about a kid in a wheelchair whose specially equipped family van was stolen. So a couple days later, Williams bought the family a van.

Wow.

That was the reaction to Williams' philanthropy. I vividly recall proposing that we do a profile of Williams, and how he's unlike so many other NBA players.

How wrong I was.

I suspect there was some spillover goodwill from what clearly now seems Williams' carefully cultivated public relations campaign, when he was charged with manslaughter for killing his limo driver inside his estate.

The goodwill didn't last long. It became clear that this talented athlete may have had flashes of heart, but that he was a deeply troubled guy.

He's now awaiting retrial on the manslaughter case, but last night/early this morning, he got into trouble again. And tonight he's charged with drunk driving, for crashing his Mercedes SUV into a tree as he was getting off an exit ramp from the FDR.

Williams suffered a small bone fracture in his neck, as well as cuts to his face.

When cops arrived, he was in the passenger seat, and told them someone else was driving. Witnesses told a different story, and cops apparently believed the witnesses, that Williams was driving by himself.

We'll have the latest on Williams' troubles, tonight at 11.

Tomorrow's a big day for proponents of same-sex marriage, with the New Jersey Senate set to vote on whether to allow them. We'll preview the vote, at 11.

And as I write this, Pres. Obama is about to address the American people about new airport security in the wake of the Christmas Day attempted terror attack.

He is supposed to "walk people through" some of the systemic failure of that day's security.

"Look, the President is is as frustrated as I'm sure many American people are," White House spokesman Robert Gibbs said. "I think the President will strive to ? reassure the American people that all that can be done is and will be done in order to protect them."

You'll hear his proposals, at 11.

And Jeff Pegues tonight takes a closer look at the credit card changes that are coming next month. They are supposed to protect the consumer, so why will the new law mean higher rates, fees and lower limits for some people?

We'll also have any breaking news of the night, plus Lee Goldberg's AccuWeather forecast, and Scott Clark with the night's sports.

I hope you can join Liz Cho and me, tonight at 11.

BILL RITTER


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