BROOKLYN -- Deron Williams returned to Brooklyn on Wednesday night after having been bought out by the team this summer in what could be described as an underwhelming tenure as a member of the Nets.
Prior to Wednesday, he spoke about his unhappiness in Brooklyn, with thoughts about quitting basketball altogether and walking away from the sport he loved. That all changed, however, once he returned home to Dallas where Williams says that he's finally "happy and healthy."
"I’m just happy where I’m at," an injured Williams said prior to Wednesday night's game. "Dallas is definitely home, and it’s good to be around family. It’s good to be playing in front of my friends, my family every night. It’s just been good. It doesn’t matter what Brooklyn was; it’s a good situation for me right now and it’s worked out so far. But like I said, it’s got to continue to work out."
Williams said that the most difficult part about his time in Brooklyn was dealing with the injuries -- and in a twist, familiar to Nets fans, Williams was unavailable to play on Wednesday night due to a hamstring injury. That didn't change the emotion level for Williams, who said he was a bit nervous heading into the Barclays Center, but felt at home when he saw a few familiar faces.
"It's weird," he said. "It's weird coming down on the bus and the tunnel. As soon as I got off there was about six people I knew. So just kinda saying 'Hi' to them and talking to them, there's definitely a lot of people I miss in this organization. I was around for three, four, five years. You form a lot of relationships and you get used to being around certain people. So you definitely miss them."
While he missed a lot of people in the organization, he didn't expect that Nets fans would necessarily miss him.
"I think the way I played was disappointing for fans," Williams acknowledged. "When you’re given a max deal and you don’t perform to it, especially in New York, you’re going to hear it. So I understand. I wish things were different, I wish it would have worked out differently but I can’t control that and I can just move forward."
Again, it came back to the injuries, in that Williams had no idea if he'd ever fully be healthy. He talked about how hard it was to walk up stairs, hard to have "a normal life," as he put it. But now, in Dallas, he's healthy -- current injury aside, of course -- and, more importantly, happy.
"I'm happy in Dallas, and enjoy playing with this team." That's a quote you'd have to dig deep to find Williams saying about his time in Brooklyn.
Still, he remains positive and hopeful that he can keep working at being happy, which my be the most important thing for him to be successful. Well, that and his health, of course.