Before last season, we kept a running commentary of what Deron Williams said about the Nets in interviews and statements on his website among other places. We did our last edition on the opening day of training camp when Williams said there was a "90 percent chance" he'd re-sign with the team. Heady days those.
Since then, he's spoken of his frustrations, most famously in an interview with Marc J. Spears. That was more headachey than heady. On Thursday in Toronto and on Friday in East Rutherford, Williams talked more extensively about his future than at any time during the season. He didn't use "90 percent" this time, but considering what happened during the season, it was a positive sign for Nets fans wanting to be enthusiastic about Brooklyn.
We've obtained a transcript from the press conference Friday. It's more than what has been published, particularly how he feels about Mikhail Prokhorov, the shortcomings of his teammates, his relationship with the media. We added some quotes from Thursday as well. We also note that Williams said he's sold his house in San Diego and will be staying in New York this summer.
Thursday's Cleanout Day Press Conference
Injuries? It's alright. It's good.
Surgeries or anything? Nope. No surgery that I know of.
Not really. The season just ended yesterday. We have time, playoffs. A lot of stuff is going to happen. Just take my time. But I don't want to take too much time. I want to try to have something done by the Olympics.
Good that it is finally here?
It's good that I don't have to answer questions about it. That would be the biggest thing for me.
Why the Olympics?
Because I don't want to play in the Olympics without a contract.
Biggest criteria in terms of where u decide u want to play?
I want to win. That's first and foremost. I want to go where I feel we have the best chance to win. I know we might not win a championship in the first year or 2, but hopefully as the chances of building something special and have flexibility and somewhere where I believe they're headed in the right direction.
Picture yourself in Brooklyn?
Definitely. Definitely. I'm still looking at all the possibilities here. I went to the arena a couple days ago and saw how it was and it's going to be an exciting arena, a great place to play, and I've always been confident in this organization. Even though I was opting out I never said I wasn't re-signing with the Nets and that's still remains the same.
The big small market doesn't really matter to me. I just want to win. That's not going to determine where I go or not. There's some cities that I don't want to live in, so that definitely plays a part.
Thoughts on this wild and zany season?
It's just been difficult for this organization for everybody involved. As players, we had high hopes for making the playoffs. We felt that if we have had everybody out there we would have had a playoff team. We just really never got a chance to have everybody together. It was just injury after injury. We lost guys to season ending injuries. We had nagging injuries where guys were missing games here and there. We just really didn't get a chance to see us at full strength.
Things that can happen between now and free agency?
All that. That's why I still can't - what you said, I'm anxious, but there's so much that can happen between now and free agency. Even the free agents that are available. I'm just going to continue to work out here and look at my options.
Lowest point of the season?
Just a lot of ups and downs I think throughout the season and losing definitely does take its toll and you start going on eight game losing streaks. That's not fun. I don't think it was fun for anybody.
Free agents with veteran experience?
Yeah, we have to get some veterans, guys that know how to play the game of basketball, make the right plays, extra passes. That was the most frustrating thing about this year was the lack of ball movement, lack of screens, just really some good basketball players. We need to get a lot of those.
Know Gerald Wallace?
I didn't know him on a personal level, but I always liked him as a player. .I thought we played a lot better and than he ended up getting hurt so definitely helped this team. I think he could be a great piece for us to have in the future. He's in the same situation as me. I don't know what he's going to do as far as opting out, but he could definitely help this team. He knows how to play basketball. He's a veteran. He plays multiple positions. He guards multiple positions so he's definitely somebody I think we should definitely keep around and build.
Lot of guys waiting to see what you do, put pressure on you?
I'm waiting to see what they do too. .LeBron, D-Wade and Chris Bosh, they signed on the same day, I think.
Here for the lows, to want to be around for the highs?
Yeah, definitely, it would be great to be a part of that first game, that first team there, kind of start our own legacy in Brooklyn. So that's definitely enticing. That's definitely something I think about on a regular basis.
Any free agents you'd like to play with?
I'd have to look at the list. I'm not sure. But there are some.
Your thoughts at season's end?
It's just so tough once you know you're out of the playoffs. Just to remain focused and having the same energy and intensity night-in, night-out. You still want to win games, you want to compete, but it starts wearing on you. I think it once you get to the last day it's almost like the last day of school. It's just like, alright, is it going to be here. So now we can focus on the future and see what a lot of us have in store.
It’s going to be a totally different team next year, I think.
Is it exciting for you, free agency?
It’s definitely exciting. But I’m obviously a guy that doesn’t like uncertainty, I like knowing what I’m going to do, so, the quicker I know, the better it’ll be for me.
You said you’re going to be around here until your kids are out of school?
Where is offseason home for you?
I just sold my house in San Diego, so this is going to be my home until I figure out where I’m playing.
Do you have a list, personally, of some teams you’re thinking about possibly going to?
Possibly, I do. [laughter] I’m not gonna tell you though.
Family comfortable with the area?
Yeah, they like it. They definitely like it. I like living in the city, my kids enjoy their school, so they’re excited about living here.
I’ll watch a couple games.
Do you root for teams?
I root more for just like my friends that are playing, not so much teams. There’s teams I don’t like that I’m gonna root against, I hope they lose. [laughter] But I just watch -- it’s an exciting time. Watch and wish I was out there.
How has your adjustment to NY media been?
There’s just as much media in Utah. We’re not the Knicks, so we haven’t had just like rooms filled -- there’s this much media every day in Utah. A lot of times there’s more media.
On a regular basis, yeah.
You like the media?
Do I need to answer that question? [laughter] If I could go every day and not talk, I’d be happy.
Were we that bad?
No, no. It’s not you, it’s more about me. [laughter]
It’s not you, it’s me???
You’ve never been told that before? [laughter]
Frustrating that the team hasn’t been fully healthy since you arrived?
Yeah, but I know. I kind of have a feeling of where we would have been this year if we would have had everybody healthy. So it’s not like that really weighs on my decision. It’s more going forward. So, yeah.
If everybody had been healthy, is team on championship track?
I wouldn’t go that far. No, I think we still need some more pieces. We would have had, like I said, a playoff team. But championship, that’s another level and I think we need more veteran guys for that to happen. There’s not a lot of teams that win championships with rookies starting and things like that.
Long year, olympics, worried that it’s too much basketball.
No, I’m gonna take some time off from basketball right now. I’m going to continue to work out in the weight room, but I’m going to take some time off from the gym, but I don’t think it’s too much.
When does that start?
I think it’s the beginning of July.
Anything you’re going to miss about playing in New Jersey?
Can you talk about Dallas’ obvious interest in you?
I don’t know if they’re interested in me. I haven’t talked to anybody from there. That would be illegal. Tampering.
Reading between the lines?
I don’t know why everybody just throws Dallas out there like they’re heard something from me. I don’t know.
What do you think about playing in your hometown, potentially?
I don’t think about it. I’m going to play this season out and after that look at my options [laughter].
How often to you and Billy King talk about your future here?
We talk a lot, me and Billy have a lot of conversations. I don’t know how often, maybe a couple times a week? But we’re always talking. We just talked before I came here, that’s why I came here. You know what he said?
Someone cuts Deron off: Don’t tell us anything.
No, we just have an understanding.
When you went to Brooklyn, was it Billy?
He asked me if I wanted to go. And me and Jordan went to check it out. I usually don’t like seeing unfinished projects. When I’m looking at houses, I don’t like looking at houses that aren’t finished, because I can’t really picture. But he was like, ‘Just come see it.’ You can kind of picture how it’s going to be -- I mean, they’ve got seats in there now and it’s starting to come into shape. So you can definitely tell, the locker room where it’s going to be -- picked out my locker for next year. [laughter]
Was it the visiting locker room? [laughter]
I didn’t go in the visiting locker room.
Isn’t that kind of the same thing with the Nets though, unfinished project?
Yes, but is there really a perfect situation out there? You know, it’s just where I feel the most comfortable at the end of the day, where I feel I have the best chance to win and enjoy the city and my family’s comfortable.
I’ve met him before, we’ve had several conversations. It was a good meeting.
Does he factor in this?
Yeah, I definitely think the owner definitely factors in. I’m going to go somewhere where they’re gonna be willing to spend money and get guys and I think he’s committed to that and committed to winning.
Do you feel like you still need to be courted by Nets or you have enough info?
Not really. I don’t really think I need to be courted by anybody, you know as far as that’s concerned. I just want to hear what people have to say. You know, I’ll make my own decision, I’m my own man, so I’m going to make my own decision I feel is best for me.
not. I don’t know. I’ve never done it before. I’ve got to sit down with my agent first, we’ve gotta have a conversation before anything happens.
No. I don’t think anybody would tune in.
Yacht trip with Prokhorov?
Yacht trip? I don’t know.
We’re good? All right guys. You saved me, Brook.
Thursday's Pre-Game Interview
"I'm in a good place right now. I enjoy being around these guys. I have some big decisions to make. I think going back to Brooklyn one more time helped me see the vision of the franchise again. There were times this year that it was very difficult to see. It was very tough, especially when you're on the court. I think if we stayed healthy this year, we would have been a playoff team. Then, we added Gerald Wallace and we were definitely a playoff team. The injuries just cost us a lot."
"It was great, it was great. It’s (Barclays Center) definitely taking shape. It was looking nice, it’s going to be a special arena.''