Behind The ScenesPTI

Jay Williams joins PTI as co-host for week

Jay Williams (Allen Kee/ESPN Images)
Jay Williams (Allen Kee/ESPN Images)

ESPN college basketball analyst Jay Williams will display his expansive sports knowledge when he joins Tony Kornheiser as co-host of Pardon the Interruption (ESPN, 5:30 p.m. ET) in the nation’s capital today through Friday. As the 36th co-host in the 16-year history of the show, Williams, along with Jay Bilas, are only college analysts to be part of the 30-minute, discussion and debate show from the hosting chair. (Bilas was guest host July 10, 2003.)

Kornheiser on first-time guest co-host Williams joining him this week

“I totally look forward to having Jay co-host PTI for a few days. I like his work. The only thing I told him was: you’re going to have to wear looser suit jackets. The ones you have show off how big your arms are, and I can’t have that sort of intimidation. You’re already way too young. You can’t be way too young and way too strong!”

ESPN Front Row caught up with Williams before he headed to Washington, D.C.

Do you like the debate part of PTI or prefer hard analysis?
Respectful and fun debates are what I really enjoy as part of my job. The style and approach of PTI is fun, entertaining, humorous and reminds me of two guys who are having a conversation at a family reunion.

What are you most looking forward to about PTI?
The versatility of topics – talking about multiple sports. Growing up, that’s what my friends and I did every day – debate about basketball, football, soccer, tennis and anything else worth engaging.

Have you worked with Tony Kornheiser before?

Top 5 news stories Williams wants to debate on PTI

  • NCAA Championship and teams advancing to Sweet 16
  • The NBA & the MVP race, plus the Cavs being the favorite team
  • Quarterback needs within the NFL and potential of Marshawn Lynch to Oakland
  • New coaches being hired and fired within college sports
  • Open to talk about anything that may happen as the sports world changes each and every day

I have worked with both Tony and Michael (Wilbon) remotely from Bristol but never in person. I have been watching the show and have been a fan of theirs for years now. It will be an honor to join PTI.

What do you want to bring to PTI that others may not bring?
I have always tried to model the way Mike Wilbon has done sports. I very much look up to him and what he has accomplished but at the same time, I have my own style. I am definitely a tad edgy because of my own experiences and I look forward to hopefully filling to some degree that void when Wilbon is gone.

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