This is one big reason Deron Williams stayed in New York: Forbes Magazine, read by corporate CEO's and marketing directors everywhere, lists D-Will first and foremost in its 2012 "30 under 30 - Sports." The list mixes athletes and executives, "entrepreneurs and corporate fast trackers." Among the criteria for the athletes: "either a strong global brand (Rory McIlroy, LeBron James), or, as in Williams’ case, heavy importance to their particular franchises and markets."
While the five other NBA stars in the 30 merit only a photo in a slideshow, Williams gets star treatment in the article and a video interview with a Forbes editor. In the interview, he talks about Brooklyn and the New York market and Mikhail Prokhorov, "a normal guy." He notes that with Prokhorov so busy, he deals with "another guy who's kind of in charge, who runs things behind the scenes who I'm in contact with a lot," an apparent reference to Dmitry Razumov, Prokhorov's No. 2. Williams also notes that he and Jay-Z "had a lot conversations, a lot of texts back and forth."
Here's his "30 under 30" profile:
A free agent in the summer of 2012, Williams had a chance to sign with the Dallas Mavericks, his hometown team. But the eight-year NBA veteran chose to stay with the Nets, who were in the midst of moving from New Jersey to a new $1 billion arena in Brooklyn. "I just liked the direction we were going. I was excited about the new arena. I was excited about being in New York – my family has come to love this city." The Nets rewarded him with a five-year, $100 million contract. As well they should: No single player is more important to the re-branded franchise, which sold 11,000 season tickets to its new fan base.
Also on the list, Michael Zavodsky, Senior Vice President, Barclays Center. Of Zavodsky, Forbes writes, "From intern to upper management in seven years, the 29-year-old Zavodsky oversees corporate sales for the Barclays Center, the new $1 billion home of the Brooklyn Nets. He's also led the charge to fill athe arena's calendar with boxing and college basketball."