Deron Williams and Paul Pierce talk off-season, health and the future at charity event

Brooklyn Nets/Adam Pantozzi

Reed Wallach was on the red carpet for the 1st annual Dodge Barrage Tournament hosted by Deron Williams and spoke with Williams and Paul Pierce about this past summer, chemistry and how the Nets are going to handle this season. Paul Pierce also didn't hold back when asked about a certain New York Knick and his recent comments.

Deron Williams, along with fellow teammates, were on hand for the 1st annual Dodge Barrage Tournament hosted by Williams himself.

The charity event had a huge turnout with several teams featuring celebrities and Nets on the roster and some with just fans. Proceeds go to the fight against autism.

On the red carpet, Williams, who was sporting a walking boot, spoke out on his recent ankle injury. "The ankles good," Williams said, "I sprained it about two and a half weeks ago in Utah, but I've been working out on it. I just have a little pain in there and Timmy (trainer Tim Walsh) made me get an MRI and there is a little inflimation in there." Williams continued to say, "(The boot) is there to protect me from myself."

Williams also noted how frustrating it was, "It's frustrating, I want to be hooping with the guys getting ready and even play in this, but it is what it is. As long as I'm ready for the season opener."

On being more cautious due to his prior ankle injuries, "I think so, it's not me. If it were up to me I'd be walking around right now," Williams said.

Williams said that he is going in for an MRI next week to be cleared for training camp, "The plan is to be ready by the start of the season."

When asked about the chemistry the team is building, "LA was a great four days and even though it was a short time we got together and talked. Everyone is excited about the season and now mostly everyone is back and working out. It's good," Williams said.

On the trade with the Celtics, "I knew Billy (King) was going after Paul (Pierce) and I thought that was done and then he called me and was like we're going after KG (Garnett) too. I was like no way that is happening. No way you can get both of them, but he did," Williams said.

Dwill did note that he did have an influence on the Andrei Kirilenko signing, "Yeah I talked to AK (Kirilenko) once I saw he opted out and I was just like come play with us for one-year and AK's made a lot of money so it wasn't about the money. He wants to come to a team that's going to be fun and have a chance to win and he's going to have chance to play here...That's as big of an addition as the other two guys (Pierce and Garnett)."

When he was asked about the task of playing the Miami Heat on opening night in Brooklyn, "It's gonna be fun. Going to be a good test for us," Williams said.

Williams noted that this is the deepest team that he has ever been on, "The Utah teams weren't as big and we ran into trouble with that against the Lakers."

With the revamped roster, Williams is well-aware that he needs to step his game back up and get his numbers back to "where they should be."

Paul Pierce, though, had the quote of the day. When asked about J.R Smith's comments about Pierce's remarks about the Nets running New York he replied, "Who?... Who?... Who?... Who we talking about right now?... Exactly."

Williams, on the other hand, tried to stay off the topics of the teams' rivalry with the Knicks. When he was asked who ran New York, he replied, "Mayor Bloomberg."

Pierce said the best part of all the teams' involuntary workouts is the time they get together, building relationships. "Best part is probably just sitting in the locker room talking, getting to know one another and that's how you build chemistry and that's where it really starts," Pierce said.

When asked about playing in back-to-backs, Pierce said, "It's all up to coach, he's going to monitor me during camp, but I feel as good as I've ever felt and I'm ready to go." About possibly playing less minutes than in Boston, "With the added depth we have some guys who can play off the bench and get some time. Last year, we were hit with injuries and it put a real burden on me to carry us on this age and it was tough at times."

DWill's ankle seems fine. As assumed, he played it off like it was nothing, even if it is, but he's having an MRI next week which he believes will come up with nothing and he'll be cleared for training camp. Hopefully it doesn't linger and it goes far, far away. He does claim that he can walk fine without, but the team is playing it safe and rightfully so due to his prior ailments.

Pierce's remarks are a bit more notable. He's all-in on this rivalry with the Knicks and continues to stir the pot with J.R Smith. Pierce has proven that he does own the Knicks over his illustrious career, averaging 23 points each time he plays New York, two more than his career average, and a slight increase in rebounds and assists. Pierce is a talker and with that the shouting match between Brooklyn and Manhattan continues.

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