Deron Williams On The Nets: ‘Everybody Felt I Was The Problem’
I can’t wait until Deron Williams makes it back to Brooklyn December 23rd. I’m going to throw the wife and kiddies out the house, turn on the TV, and watch the Brooklyn Nets fans boo their collective heads off. Deron Williams gave them plenty of reasons when he comes to the Barclay Center, following his conversation with New York reporters after his new team, the Dallas Mavericks beat the New York Knicks, 107-94, in Madison Square Garden. Williams scored 20 points and dished out seven assists in the victory.
The Dallas Mavericks are considered one of the pleasant surprises of the early NBA season. Most experts thought that the DeAndre Jordan “backslide” to the Los Angeles Clippers over the summer would doom the Mavericks. Deron Williams has definitely played a major role in their success, averaging 15 points and six assists per game.
After signing up to be the face of the Brooklyn Nets at a tidy $98 million, injuries, weight problems (on his body and expectations from New York), and plenty of other issues led to the bottom falling out.
After getting $27.5 million to pack up and leave (let’s not use Lionel Hollins’s version of leaving, shall we?) to go to Dallas and sign with them. One would think that Williams would count his blessings and move on and learn from the experience. You know, kind of like his predecessor, Rajon Rondo, did in Sacramento.
Let’s break down some quotes from Deron Williams, courtesy of ESPN’s Mike Mazzeo…
“It just never went well, I don’t think. It felt like everybody felt I was the problem, and so now I’m gone, “
No, Deron, obviously there are more problems in the Brooklyn Nets organization besides you. The record tends to show that. But when you signed a max contract to stay in Brooklyn, I assume that the Nets thought that you would be somewhat committed to the future of building the franchise to championship status. I mean, who do these guys think they are, giving a player $98 million and watch him decline into a train wreck. The nerve…
Plus, I’m going to assume that you know that the NBA is a business. If you don’t, I’m pretty sure that your owner, Mark Cuban, can give you past seasons of his show “Shark Tank”. The Nets are going nowhere, so the team had to get under the salary cap so Mikhail Prokhorov didn’t go from a happy and content billionaire to a frustrated one who is losing millions by the truckload in luxury taxes.
“[Dallas] has been great for me. It’s been great for my family. [There’s] a lot more positivity in Dallas, and I think I needed that in my life.
No, Deron, let me discern that for you. What you needed was less pressure. It is no secret that the Dallas Cowboys reign supreme in Dallas. The Cowboys could lose every game for the next five years and that won’t change. In New York, there is a certain level of pressure that go with athletes. ALL OF THEM! New York is a basketball city with fans that are more knowledgeable than you might have realized. Plus, with a two year deal at $10 million with a team option for the second year, they can be more positive considering they can drop you if you stink up the joint in Dallas, like you did up north.
Also, you are not the star of the team. The ageless Dirk Nowitzki has that honor. Then throw in Wes Matthews, Chandler Parsons, and Zaza Pachulia playing out his mind. You are a part of a machine and not the catalyst. Also, with Raymond Felton and Devin Harris on the roster, you can believe that if you start acting up, you may never see the floor again. Again, Rajon Rondo is a very good reference here.
Then Deron Williams stated the obvious with this quote…
” Expectations were high. I was injured pretty much the whole time I was there,” Williams said. “Four coaches in 3 1/2 years doesn’t help as a point guard with chemistry and things like that and just constant change. It just didn’t work out.”
Seriously, dude…? If you wanted stability, you could have just shut up and accepted coaching from Jerry Sloan, who was in Utah so long, you would have thought he was the only coach the Jazz ever had. We all know he was the most successful. Ask John Stockton. I heard he was an okay point guard. Oh how about that Karl Malone guy? I heard he’s pretty good too.
But no. You had to clash with him and frustrate him to the point of resigning… IN MIDSEASON! The Utah Jazz still haven’t recovered. But why go back that far. Let’s deal with the Nets.
Rumor had it that you got Avery Johnson fired… like after he won NBA Coach of the Month honors the month prior. Your relationship with Jason Kidd was going sour before he left. Finally it was rumored that you had to be restrained in a meeting with Lionel Hollins last year around the All-Star break. I’m not saying change wasn’t a factor. But you were a factor too.
As for high expectations… let Paul Pierce drop the knowledge.
“Before I got there, I looked at Deron as a MVP candidate. But I felt once [Kevin Garnett and I] got there, that’s not what he wanted to be, He just didn’t want to be that.
I think a lot of the pressure got to him sometimes. This was his first time in the national spotlight. The media in Utah is not the same as the media in new York, so that can wear on some people. I think it really affected him.
It bears repeating… the nerve of the Brooklyn Nets to pay nearly $100 million to a franchise player and expect big things is completely ridiculous. Right, Deron?
In conclusion, Deron Williams said this…
“I’m onto a new chapter. I wish things were different-would have happened differently, but they didn’t. I can’t dwell on it, just move forward and I think that’s what I’ve done.”
It’s really easy to do after collecting $27.5 million in a nice lump sum for being injured and not meeting expectations.
But Carmelo Anthony said it best…
“Some people can handle it and some people can’t. He’s a guy that needed to get away from this, getting away from New York.”
See you in Brooklyn on December 23rd, Deron. It’ll be fun.