Danny Ainge makes bold claim about Deron Williams and his status with the Utah Jazz

Utah Jazz (Photo by Jed Jacobsohn/Getty Images)
Utah Jazz (Photo by Jed Jacobsohn/Getty Images) /

Deron Williams has had a wild history during and past his time with the Utah Jazz.

When the Utah Jazz drafted Deron Williams, no one could have believed just how wild of a ride he’d end up having, not just with the Jazz but in his pro career. He went from being an able challenger for the top point guard in the league debate against fellow draft-year rookie, Chris Paul, and the face of the Jazz, to being run out of the league for poor play, nearly a decade before Paul even considered retiring.

Along the way, he caused Jazz icon Jerry Sloan to quit coaching, resurrected and then watched the fall of the then Brooklyn Nets, and finally saw his play fall off so far in Cleveland, that despite being a fine offensive contributor to some degree, he would end up not landing another NBA gig for the rest of his pro career.

Then, Williams would end up in combat sports, boxing future NFL Hall of Famer Frank Gore in an exhibition match that Williams actually ended up winning.


There was a time when Williams was viewed by many as persona non grata. He forced his way out of Utah, caused a legend to leave the team, and pissed off everyone in the fandom as he went. Yet, over the years, Williams has been working his way back into the fandom. Reminding the fans of the good times they’ve had.

He made amends with Sloan before the coach’s passing and has since gone on to take responsibility for his involvement in how things went down. But still, it’s a bit surprising to see Danny Ainge publically declare Williams a Utah Jazz legend.

While Williams is back in the good graces of most of the Jazzdom, there’s a difference between thinking of someone fondly, and declaring a good player a legend.

It seems like a stretch, Williams only made two All-Star games during his time with the Jazz, but did make two All-NBA teams as well. He played very well with the team and did help guide them to four playoff appearances, and two division championships.

So it wasn’t like he didn’t contribute anything to the franchise. Still, a legend? Maybe. Though we’re not far enough away from his time with the team to say for a matter of fact if he deserves a jersey retirement.

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