Deron Williams took a moment to throw some former teammates under the bus this week. He was asked about the losing culture that was on the team last season in New Jersey and how that is apparently different now in Brooklyn.
“It was hard. I’ve never been in that position before,” Williams told reporters Tuesday, following his team’s first day of training camp. “So at times, I’ve showed frustration, but I think anybody would have. I think no matter who it is, if you were there every day and you saw what was going on in the locker room you’d be pissed off too sometimes. You’re getting your asses kicked and then you’re in the locker room laughing about the game afterwards.
“I don’t think that stuff is funny. That’s what we had to deal with last year. But I don’t think we’re going to deal with it this year…we’re talking about not losing two games in a row.” (courtesy of ESPN)
I think it’s a joke when guys talk about former teammates in vague statements without naming names. If this really happened, then why didn’t we hear about it last year? In this era of social media, bloggissists know about stuff before GM’s do. Maybe last year’s culture was a byproduct of Williams, himself? He showed little allegiance to New Jersey all year in anticipation of his big July decision. I, myself, thought that he was just playing out the string before heading to Dallas.
I’m assuming the guys Deron is referring to are no longer on the team…I mean it sounds like management would’ve cleaned house of that type acivity seeing that they’re all about winning in Brooklyn now.
So here’s a list of the guys who were on last year’s team that didn’t make the trip to Brooklyn: Jordan Farmar, Gerald Green, Anthony Morrow, DeShawn Stevenson, Johan Petro, Jordan Williams, Shelden Williams, Armon Johnson, Sundiata Gaines.
Farmar & Stevenson have championship rings, something Williams does not. I think they know something about winning, don’t you? I’m also pretty confident that dry old veteran Shelden Williams (husband of WNBA star Candace Parker) didn’t joke around after a single loss…in fact, I’ve never even see him crack a smile. The same goes for Sundiata Gaines. The tough NYC point guard rarely shows emotion out there and is as tough as anyone in the league (pound-for-pound). That leaves hot-shooter Anthony Morrow, who was well-documented as the first guy in and the last guy out of the gym in both Golden State and New Jersey. He’s a young throwback…a pro’s pro. Was it center Johan Petro? maybe…or how about Gerald Green? His maturity has been questioned many times since being drafted by the Celtics years ago. Maybe it was rookie Jordan Williams? Armon Johnson hardly ever suited up, so it couldn’t have been him.
D-Will, if you’re reading this, feel free to jump in anytime.
What I’m getting at is that these comments by Deron Williams are WEAK. The truth is, he didn’t re-sign with the Nets to win games…he did it because they’re moving to The Big City. Forget the addition of Joe Johnson…teaming with Dirk Nowitzki would’ve been a much stronger combination. Plus, Mark Cuban has a history of adding talent the likes of which Mikhail Prokhorov has yet to do. Giving Brook Lopez the max and Kris Humphries $12M/yr is hardly something to brag about.
But then again, Williams doesn’t exactly have a history of trying to win at the highest level. During the NBA Lockout he made headlines signing with the Turkish team Besiktas…a lower-level team that isn’t even in the Euroleague. Instead of joining a team known for its high level of basketball like Barcelona or CSKA Moscow, Deron chose to play for the team that offered him the most $ and least competition out on the court. That franchise is known more for its playboy owners than a tradition of winning. It was like he played And One Streetball for a month.
I guess that’s in line with David Stern’s thinking…I mean, how else did Berlin get into the NBA Europe matchups this year? Forget facing Real Madrid and Olympiacos, Dallas would get a better run vs. the Mad Ants or Red Claws of the D-League. I hope Dirk enjoys the homecoming, because that’s all it will be.
Back to Deron Williams, he’s a great talent and one of the best point guards in the league. But he should hardly talk when it comes to putting winning above all else…namely image.
Oh, speaking of image, I bet if the Nets didn’t have a new logo and nice uniforms Williams might just have been in Dallas yesterday for Media Day.