In Defense Of Deron Williams


Apr 22, 2015; Atlanta, GA, USA; Atlanta Hawks guard Jeff Teague (0) defends Brooklyn Nets guard Deron Williams (8) during the first quarter of game two of the first round of the NBA Playoffs at Philips Arena. Mandatory Credit: Kevin Liles-USA TODAY Sports

Point guard Deron Williams was once thought to be the cornerstone of the Utah Jazz franchise. He led the club to the 2007 Western Conference Finals, he was an All-Star and is a two-time Olympic gold medalist.

According to many, D-Will has since morphed from G.O.A.T. to goat after joining the Brooklyn Nets in 2011. Following Brooklyn’s Game 2 loss to the Atlanta Hawks in their first-round series tonight, the detractors are out in full force.

In the contest, Williams connected on only one of seven shots and the Nets were outscored by 11 points when he was on the floor. Moreover, the point guard missed on an open jump shot in the game’s waning seconds that would have leveled the score.

This comes on the heels of Williams’ former Brooklyn teammate Paul Pierce casting aspersions on D-Will earlier this month. In an interview with, Pierce questioned both Williams’ desire and his ability to deal with the New York media:

"“Before I got there, I looked at Deron as an MVP candidate, but I felt once we got there, that’s not what he wanted to be. He just didn’t want that.” Pierce said. “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.”"

In light of Pierce’s comments, Williams elected to take the high road. Rather than defend himself against the insinuations, the former Jazzman had this to say:

"‘Being here, I got pretty thick skin. He has his opinions, and that’s fine. It’s what it is. I can’t change his opinions. So just leave it at that.”"

As relates to his performance tonight, it should be mentioned that Williams notched 10 rebounds, eight assists and two steals for the Nets. Furthermore, his last second miss was a quality shot within the offense that followed a good move to get the open look.

As is sometimes the case on the hardwood, the ball simply didn’t bounce the right way for Williams.

While it cannot be denied that Williams hasn’t produced at an All-Star level for multiple years now, not all of Brooklyn’s woes are on him, his ability or his drive. Injuries have played a large part in his decline and the Nets as a franchise have been in disarray on multiple fronts for a while now.

I, for one, still believe that Williams has good basketball left in him. Has he proven worthy of the maximum contract Nets GM Billy King gave him in 2012? Not by a long shot. Does he deserve some criticism for how his career has played out. Unquestionably.

Does it warrant the hatred he’s been receiving online over the course of the last hour or two? Not at all.

Call me an apologist, inaccurate or downright deluded. None of it changes the fact that Williams is a man with a wife and kids who has enjoyed an incredible career as a basketball player.

I feel for him in light of the firestorm he’s currently facing. I also remain stalwart in my belief that better times lie in wait for our former franchise player. It may not be in Brooklyn, but D-Will still has a lot to offer an NBA team.

Hopefully he gets the chance to prove as much on the court.

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