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For Williams and Livingston, a certain cool

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Brooklyn Nets v Miami Heat - Game One Photo by Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images

Carl Steward of the San Jose Mercury News thinks he detected a certain cool between ex-Nets Deron Williams, now of the Cavaliers, and Shaun Livingston, now of the Warriors. The two, now back-up point guards, will probably match up Thursday night in Game One of the NBA Finals.

“Their memories of each other from that one season together sound a bit detached, and at least from Livingston’s side, downright frosty,” Steward writes.

Asked if he and Williams kept in touch after playing together in 2013-14, Livingston turned “somber and a bit clipped,” Steward wrote.

“Nah,” Livingston said. “Some guys do, some guys don’t. There’s nothing to that. If I see him, it’s, `What’s up, you healthy, your family good?’ But then you just kind of keep it moving.”

Maybe, but a few minutes later, Livingston admitted he does keep in touch with Paul Pierce, Kevin Garnett, Joe Johnson, and the man who got him signed and coached him, Jason Kidd.

He also damned Williams with faint praise, calling him “another ball handler,” “a complimentary piece.”

Williams, being Williams, turned defensive when asked about playing against Livingston.

“Why would it be weird going against Shaun?” he said. “I play against old teammates all the time, pretty much every game I play. It’s nothing.”

Not so chummy, Steward concluded He also quoted “a New York area media member familiar with that team,” who told him...

It was a bitter pill, particularly for Pierce and Garnett, who didn’t get along with Williams, and felt he was a petulant underachiever. A number of players didn’t like Williams very much, according to a New York area media member familiar with that team, and that the breakup was decidedly acrimonious. The Nets did make the playoffs in 2014-15, but with a losing record and as the No. 8 seed. They lost in the opening round to the Atlanta Hawks.

Livingston admitted that Pierce and Garnett “kind of felt like it was a short end of the stick.” The often-injured Livingston had his career rescued by Kidd and the Nets.

“It was a big-time steppingstone for me. It cast me back into the light throughout the NBA, showing people how healthy I was, how good I felt, how hard I worked to get to that position,” he told Steward. “It was the right opportunity to be on the platform. I’d been playing on losing teams, 20-25 win teams. It allowed me a chance to showcase myself.”

Overall, Williams told Fred Kerber of the Post that he’s elated by his current situation.

“It’s been a long journey, a lot of ups and downs, but it’s well worth it,” said Williams, a 12-year veteran. “I feel blessed to be in this position to compete for a championship and to live in the moment, relish it and enjoy it because you don’t know if it will ever happen again.”

Also, he knows that it didn’t happen when he and Livingston last shared the ball.