Deron Williams came off the court exhilarated Sunday, ready to do good-hearted battle with beat writers. And after initially denying that he'd heard what Kobe Bryant said about him being "psyched out" during the Heat series, Williams offered a heated response.
According to Sports Illustrated, here's what Bryant said after Williams went 0-for-9 in Game 2, a Nets loss.
Can you believe Deron Williams went 0-9? I would go 0-30 before I would go 0-9. 0-9 means you beat yourself, you psyched yourself out of the game, because Deron Williams can get more shots in the game. The only reason is because you've just now lost confidence in yourself.’
Williams, who had been joking with reporters, turned serious (but decidedly not defensive) in discussing Bryant's comment.
"I'm a point guard," Williams said, emphasizing 'point.' "If I'm 0-for-[expletive deleted]-9, I'm not shooting 20 more shots. Not going to happen. I'm a point guard. I'm going to find somebody else. Kobe Bryant, that's what he's supposed to do. He's got that mentality. That works for him, I got my mentality, it works for me."
Williams (pointedly?) declined to give Bryant an "out," not suggesting Kobe may have been misquoted or misunderstood. He was clearly irritated. He also noted, as he has since Media Day, last season is last season and his motivation has nothing to do with last season, that his health was the big issue last year, and now he is healthy.
"I don’t think about last year," he said. "I’m not worried about last year. Last year is behind us. This is a new year, new team, new day."
"I just gotta get back to playing basketball," he said, dismissing questions of motivation and expectations. "You want me to predict what the hell's going on this whole year? I'm just going out and playing basketball, have fun. That's all it's about, man, having fun, having fun with the game."
His coach basically agreed with him.
"I already told him, we’re never going 3-for-23," Hollins told beat writers. "If we’re going 3-for-23 from the three-point line, then I got a problem. We’re going to try to do something else. I understand Kobe and all those guys, ‘I’m going to do this, the next shot is going in.’ That’s great confidence but it doesn’t matter if you don’t make the next shot. We got other guys on the team. I just want Deron to play basketball."
Hollins added in his point guard's defense that "Deron Williams is a very good basketball player and Deron Williams is going to prove that this year with this team. And you guys are going to love him. Or respect him."
Both Williams and Hollins admitted, and Kirilenko agreed, that the Nets new offense is going to borrow some sets and some offensive schemes from Jerry Sloan's system in Utah, where Williams thrived and was one of the top two or three point guards in the NBA. Hollins said he had spoken with Williams about Sloan's offense, as he is open to talking to other veteran players.
"Deron’s a smart guy, contrary to what you think," Hollins joked to gales of laughter from reporters. "He knows basketball, he knows things that'll work and I want to hear what he has to say. I want to hear what Joe Johnson has to say. I want to hear what Brook has to say."
Hollins, who deadpanned "Sloan "was a good coach," summarized his goals this way...
"My goal is to have as many people as possible involved in the offense, have the ball go from side to side, " said Hollins. "That doesn't mean we won't iso. It doesn't mean we won't post up but I just want to have base offense that we can run...
"If I have guys who can shoot, have the ability to read defenses, who have a high IQ, it's probably the best way to play. You don't want to limit those guys by having them standing around on iso and posting up when you can move the ball to whoever's open to shoot. When you got a lot of guys who can shoot, you don't have to call plays so one guy can shoot. You can just play and whoever's open gets the shot."
Brook Lopez, asked what Hollins wants him to do, said, "be more of a playmaker offensively, move the ball. We have a lot og guys who can move the ball, share the ball, score the ball.
Asked if Lopez had the mentality to be a "dominant" big man, Hollins responded, "I dont know what the mentality of a dominant big man is, but he has a lot of growth left and maturity to go and want the ball and go to where he can get the ball."
Practice resumes Sunday night and there will be a two-a-day Monday as well.
- It doesn’t matter what Kobe Bryant thinks, Deron Williams says he won’t push the issue when he’s struggling - Stefan Bondy - New York Daily News
- Brooklyn Nets’ Andrei Kirilenko sits out second day of camp with back stiffness - Stefan Bondy - New York Daily News
- Newly confident Deron Williams jabs back at Kobe Bryant - Tim Bontemps - New York Post
- Andrei Kirilenko’s back is already acting up Andrei Kirilenko’s back is already acting up- Tim Bontemps - New York Post
- Nets' Deron Williams says scoring not only point - Rod Boone - Newsday
- Nets' Deron Williams Responds to Kobe Bryant, Criticism - Alex Raskin - Wall Street Journal
- Deron Williams responds to Kobe Bryant: "If I'm 0-for-f**king-9, I'm not shooting 20 more shots" - Devin Kharpertian - The Brooklyn Game
- Andrei Kirilenko out 7-10 days with back injury - Devin Kharpertian - The Brooklyn Game
- Deron Williams says he bulked up "a little bit" this offseason - Devin Kharpertian - The Brooklyn Game
- Nets' Deron Williams strikes back at Kobe Bryant - Andy Vasquez - The Record
- Lionel Hollins says Deron Williams poised for strong season with Brooklyn Nets - Mike Mazzeo - ESPN New York
- Kirilenko feeling tightness in back - Mike Mazzeo - ESPN New York
- Deron Williams fires back at Kobe: "If I’m 0-for-f******-9, I’m not shooting 20 more shots" - Kurt Helin - NBC Sports
- Deron Williams Responds To Kobe Bryant's "I'd Rather Go 0-30 Than 0-9" Critique - Jack Winter - DIME