A letter from Jayson Williams

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In case you haven't been following the case on Court TV, former NBA player Jayson Williams stands accused of manslaughter in the shooting death of van driver Costas "Gus" Christofi. Following a Harlem Globetrotters game, a get-together at Mr. Williams' estate turned deadly when Jayson allegedly fired a shotgun into the stomach of the unfortunate driver. The following is a fictional letter ... OR IS IT?*

To: The Jury
From: Your boy Jay Will
Re: My Fate

Ladies and Gentlemen of the jury:

First and foremost, please let me assure you that I am not one of those celebrity athletes so desperate to avoid blame that he will come up with some outlandish excuse for his actions. I am aware that Gus Christofi lost his life that fateful February night in 2002, and that is a tragedy. I am also aware that, yes, I was holding the shotgun when it discharged. Granted, immediately following the firing of said weapon, I did indeed exclaim, "My God, my life is over," and I also urged all witnesses to tell the police that Gus killed himself. While you may feel in your heart that I am solely responsible, I am here to assign blame to the rightful person or persons: the Harlem Globetrotters.

You see, earlier that evening we had attended a Globetrotters game. I'm sure you are all aware of the storied history of the Globeys, from Meadow-lark Lemon and Curly Neal to the present group of guys not good enough for the NBA. Those breathtaking behind-the-back passes, the zany free-throw-on-a-string tricks ... all of it designed to bring a smile to the world. Well, me and my homies were yukking it up with the rest of the crowd when it hit me that I would never again play competitive basketball. A magical evening turned sour, and it was time to get my drink on.

Yes, ladies and gentlemen, my party rang up a $627.25 bar tab at the Mountain View Chalet following the game. We had some wine, some scotch and some cigars. Maybe I did drink a bottle of wine by myself, I really can't remember. After our dinner, I drove back to my crib at around 2 a.m. My homie Benoit Benjamin testified that I was driving so erratically that he started praying, but he's a pussy.

Anyway, when we got back to my place, I wanted to give everyone a tour of my house so they would see how filthy rich basketball had made me. When we got to the bedroom, I suddenly noticed that Greek dude who drove some of the Globetrotters back to my house. "What the hell is this cracker doing in my bedroom?" I asked myself. (Sure, I may have also cursed at him a few times ... but it's all good!) In order to defuse the situation, one of my homies threw a basketball at me. We started clowning around, imitating the Globetrotters -- spinning the ball on our fingers, bouncing it off our heads, all that shit.

Out of the blue, Gus asked me if I thought I could shoot the basketball off his head with a shotgun. Now, I loves my guns and I loves to show them off to strangers. I had him put the Spalding on his head and cover his eyes (safety first, you know!), and I shot that bad boy right off his head. No problem. Then, Gus started getting crazy! He asked if I could shoot the ball as he held it in front of his stomach! He wouldn't take no for an answer, and finally I said I'd do it. I lifted the shotgun, and at the last minute that crazy, immigrant mofo just jerked the ball away and the shell hit him in the gut.

As you've already heard in testimony, I freaked out. I did say, "My life is over," because I would have to live with this for the rest of my life, man! Yeah, Gus might be dead ... but people will be calling me a murderer now! I did indeed wipe my fingerprints from the shotgun and put it in Gus' dead hand. I told everyone to say he killed himself because he pretty much did, you know? Asking me to shoot a basketball while it was in front of his stomach was just like suicide, right? Especially given how much I had to drink that night.

Of course, I know the right thing would have been to call 911 immediately instead of changing out of my clothes and having someone dispose of my blood-soaked suit. But I knew reporters would be coming, and I had to look my best! I also tried to get everyone there to corroborate my story about the suicide, but some of them are punk-ass bitches and they had to squeal on your boy Jay Will. That shit ain't right, and they'll pay.

Oh, I digress, ladies and gentlemen of the jury. My bad. I know this story is hard to believe, but I ask you to spare me the inconvenience of jail time. Ya see, I'm working on this movie deal about my life story called "Shooting Star." I heard there's some definite interest in Will Smith playing me! Imagine that, the Fresh Prince!

I just wish that Gus could be there to drive us to the premiere ... and he would be if it wasn't for those damn Harlem Globetrotters. Peace out.

Much respect,
Jayson Williams

*It is.

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