An Open Fan Letter to Deron Williams

Dear Deron,

I want to start off this letter by thanking you for deciding to extend your Nets career, and taking on the challenge to put this franchise in the forefront of the NBA's elite. I'm 30 years old, and I've been a Nets fan since I can remember. The day the Nets traded for you, was one of the most exciting moments I can ever remember. The day you decided to re-sign with us was no less important to me, than the day we traded for Jason Kidd, cemembting a key piece in a championship contenting ball club. Thank you, for committing to our franchise, because as long as you are here, there will not be any member of this organization more important than you.

However, there in lies the problem, Deron. I understand the season is young, and the team needs to come together. I understand you've been playing hurt, and haven't been able to play to the fullest extent of your abilities. I understand that sometimes, good things take time. As a Nets fan of over 25 years, patience is one thing I've gotten really good at. But, Deron, as a fan, I'd be lieing to you if I didn't tell you how disappointed I have been in your play since we've acquired you. This doesn't just include this season, but the past 3 seasons. You've given us great momemnts, but not an extended period of greatness that is expected of a Dream Teamer, Max Contract, Franchise Changing player of your ilk.

Deron, you haven't led our team, you've used it as an excuse. You haven't improved your game you've gotten worse. On Christmas Day, you had 6 assists, 10 points, and 4 turnovers. Chris Paul, the player you're so often compared to had 8 assists and 1 turnover, leading his franchise to a 14th straight victory and the best record in the NBA. You are shooting under 40 percent from the field. You often have chucked up three pointers eary in the shot clock, and you aren't attacking the rim with any regularity of the Deron of old. So I'm starting to wonder after the past 3 years, Deron, if you're the same player? If you are a franchise player? If this team built around you can bring us a championship.

You see Deron, what I hope you realize and understand, is that you are a great player. You have earned the status you've achieved in this league as a premier player. But, when you chose us, we Nets fans were not excited about having a chance to buy your jersey with Brooklyn on the front, and Williams 8 on the back. We were excited because we thought you could lead us to a championship. The bottom line is you're great, and we love you, but we don't want you. You're not what excites us. A championship is what excites us, and as our best player, you have to lead us to that. To quote a New York Legend, you are the straw that stirs the drink. Our success and our failure is going to be because of you. We are only as good as you make us.

I love that you hate to lose Deron. I don't mind seeing you pout, and surly when things aren't going well. But I also want to see you improve and lead us. Great players, win games when their jump shot isn't falling. However, you're shooting us out of games. Other superstars have had performances in the stretch of games that have cost thier teams the victory. You were present to witness Lebron James collapse to the Mavs just a couple of seasons ago, and there are no players in his echelon of ability. But Lebron, went to work after losing, and established his post game, and he came back wtih one of the single greatest seasons in the history of the NBA. And this year, he's improved his outside shooting, as has Wade, to make the Heat even more dangerous. Derrick Rose, is another player, who elevated hs game to MVP levels. He had one of the quickest first steps in the league, but no jump shot to keep the defense honest. So he worked hard on his jump shot, and promptly won an MVP leading his team to the best regular season record.

These are great players, who held themselves accountable and have gotten better. So, Deron, I have to ask you, why have you gotten worse as a player? Is your wrist more injured than you're telling us? Is it the talent you have around you? Is it your coach? I'm sorry, Deron, I don't believe it's any of those things. I believe the problem is you. I'm not saying this to attack you. I'm saying this, because, you've regressed as a player, not improved. I'm saying this because I believe if you truly had the desire to be the best, you'd get better despite the players around you, instead of making excuses for why the team is failing to achieve. I expect you to lead our Nets, instead of telling us to calm down, and be patient.

We as a fan base are patient, but we have to see progress in the right direction. If the team needs to come together and improve, I want to see those flaws in games we still win, because we are more talented than the other teams we play. I don't want to see losses to the Bucks and Warriors, because we got out rebounded and killed in transition, because of chucked up 3 pointers by our star point guard with 18 seconds left in the shot clock. If we're going to lose, show me that we're on the doorstep like we did against OKC, where we were undermanned, and one stop and one bucket away from beating a team that shot 67% in the first half. The performances of the recent losses to the Celtics, and Knicks, and Bucks have been shameful, and as our best player, and leader the weight of those losses falls on you, Deron.

Deron, we need you to be a better player. We need you to be a premier PG in the NBA, not league average. If you want to shoot, I'm ok with it, but improve your shot and hit 42% of the 3pt shots you take. If you aren't work with a shot coach, like Wade is, and fix it. Attack the rim. Stop turning the rock over, trying to get on Sportscenter and make the right plays. You are our best player, Deron. You are our franchise. The Nets will only go as far as you can take them. If you're not capable of leading the Nets to a championship, you should have gone elsewhere. There is no shame in not being the man, just don't pretend you are. Being the man, comes with resposibility. That means being the best player on the floor every night. Improving as a player every game, and improving significantly year in and year out. That means holding yourself accountable, first and foremost. Then when you are the best player every game, making your teammates better every game. The player I'm describing is the player I thought the Nets acquired when they traded for and re-signed you.

So, Deron, I'm asking you to live up to that promise and excitement. I'm asking you to be the leader I thought you were, and the player I thought you were. Please stop making excuses like confidence, for being a reason your shot isn't falling, and use your $100 Million dollar contract to bring in a shot coach and help you figure this out. Heck, you don't even have to spend your money, I'm sure Proky will pay for it. Be more critical of yourself, and get better every game. Be a leader. You used to go toe to toe with Chris Paul and many felt you were the best PG in the NBA. Now, some aren't even sure if you're in the top third of all NBA point guards. It's obvious that you have the ability, what's not obvious is if you have the desire and accountability. As our leader, Deron, we fans beg this of you.

I hope all of my fellow Nets fans, will chime in respectfully, and express what you mean to us, our Nets organization, and how disappointed we are in what we've seen from you. You're the straw that stirs the drink, D-Will. So no more excuses. Let's see you step up, and be the player we know you should be.

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