Nets officials talk about it a lot, both publicly and privately. So does Deron Williams. Is his game suffering from fatigue? Did a year-long schedule of games in Turkey, the NBA and Olympics, with no significant break, cause his falloff in production? To put it more simply, Is he burnt out?
"He didn't take any time off," King told ESPN's Ian O'Connor Sunday "He has tired body right now. We are going to have to manage him, give him days off." It was King's first admission that his point guard may be suffering from fatigue.
A day later, Williams admitted it himself after the Spurs drubbed (kind word) the Nets.
"I didn’t take any time off. After last season, I never stopped working out," he said according to the Post. "After the Olympics, the day I got back I worked out the next morning. I thought it was the best thing to do, and now looking back, it probably would have been smarter to take some time off and get a little bit of rest, especially on my legs, and my ankles in general.
"I took a lot of pounding over the last year because even though we had a shortened season, I was over in Istanbul, so I haven’t had a break since before then. I felt like I could handle it, and at the time I thought it was the right thing to do. I didn’t want to get out of shape. I wanted to just keep going."
Specifically, King mentioned that last September D-Will returned from the Olympics at 2 a.m. with his gold medal in hand and was on the court at the PNY Center nine hours later with his new teammates, proudly showing them both his 2008 and 2012 medals.
Indeed, a NetsDaily analysis shows that Williams played as many minutes last year as most of his Olympic teammates ... and many of them went deep in the playoffs. Williams played 2,505 minutes last season between Turkey (506) and the NBA regular season (1,999). Of his Olympic teammates, Kevin Durant (3,383), LeBron James (3,309), Russell Westbrook (3,098), Kobe Bryant (2,708), James Harden (2,576) and Chris Paul (2,604) played more minutes and each went deep into the playoffs. Moreover, all of them took time off during the lockout while D-Will was playing in Turkey ... and earning a reported $5 million. By comparison, Joe Johnson played 2,370 minutes last season but didn't play during the lockout and had the summer off.
King told O'Connor he isn't worried about Williams He compared Williams situation now with Carmelo Anthony's last season with the Knicks, that a player who was once unpopular is now hearing MVP chants. "Systems change. It takes them a while," he added.
- Deron Williams: I didn't take any breaks this summer - Tim Bontemps - New York Post
- Deron Williams thinks he has worked himself too hard - Steve Del Vecchio - Larry Brown Sports
Deron Williams says two years of constant playing may have worn him down - Kurt Helin - NBC Sports