No, really? Deron Williams may miss Wednesday's game in Brooklyn?
On Tuesday, during the third quarter of the Mavericks' loss to the Raptors, Williams pulled himself out of the game with a sore left hamstring after hearing a "pop." He did not return in and in this season's non-event, he indicated he may not be able to play vs. the Nets.
Deron Williams: "The last thing I want to do is miss this game tomorrow. It's definitely frustrating."— Tim MacMahon (@espn_macmahon) December 23, 2015
Nevertheless, he expects to get booed. What's the point if he's not playing? Brooklyn fans are used to that. Excuse us, the "non-fans."
"I'm sure I'll get booed," Williams told ESPN. "Those Brooklyn fans, they expected more out of me. I expected more out of myself. Injuries are tough, man. Somebody that's been injured year after year, they can attest. They take a toll on you physically. It takes a toll on you mentally.
"Add that to the New York media and the fans -- or I should say the non-fans, the ones that don't pick you up -- it all takes a toll on you. I think it definitely took a toll on me, but that's what happens when you get paid that money and you don't produce like it."
Williams seems to jump back and forth in his comments on Brooklyn, in one sentence, blaming himself, in another taking a swipe at "New York," that amalgam of demanding fans and pesky media. He is having a marginally better season than he had with the Nets last year, averaging a few more points and few less assists, shooting a bit better overall, a bit worse from three. And his team, a better collection of players and a better coach, is doing well.
But he can't seem to stop obsessing. Take this comment about headlines in the New York tabloids.
"The thing that bothered me is [when] the headline has nothing to do with what the article is about. It's just about selling papers there. You've got to understand that. It's the nature of New York. That's just how it is."
He did admit that maybe he should have had ankle surgery earlier without noting that's what the Nets had wanted him to do ... "but you never know."
But here's the bottom line: In July 2012, after a year and a half in New York, Williams accepted a $99 million contract from Nets ownership, who adored him, did everything he wanted, hiring and firing to suit him and his whims. He even called himself the team's "assistant GM." That was $30 million more than Marc Cuban offered him, not even a max deal. He knew what he was getting into. He just didn't realize he couldn't handle it.
- Dallas Mavericks guard Deron Williams strains hamstring; unlikely to play against Brooklyn Nets - Tim MacMahon - ESPN DFW
- Deron Williams likely to miss game vs. Nets with injury, criticizes New York media and "non-fans" - Devin Kharpertian - The Brooklyn Game
- Deron Williams likely to miss Brooklyn return - Greg Hrinya - Examiner
- Deron Williams: Playing for Nets made me want to quit - Deron Williams - New York Post
- Looking back at Deron Williams' decline in Brooklyn - Scott Chiusano - New York Daily News
- Deron Williams says Nets years made him "question if I even wanted to play basketball" - Kurt Helin - NBC Sports