Sunday, July 12, 2015

BK Nets: Deron Williams bids farewell to Flatbush

From the desk of:  THE HOOPS OF FLATBUSH

w/Utah - 17.3 ppg; 9.1 assists; .466 FG%
w/NJ,BK - 16.6 ppg; 7.5 assists; .418 FG%
Last 2 seasons - 13.6 ppg; 6.3 assists

BROOKLYN NETS: Franchise Player Expectations Go Unmet.

Giddy up...!

Life along Flatbush Avenue proved too much, and so goodbye Brooklyn...

Foiled by his own physical limitations, Deron Williams failed to meet or exceed a Borough's expectations.  Moreover, when made to play (or not play) under coach Lionel Hollins, Williams perhaps became demoralized as well.

It's been a tough 4 1/2 years for Deron Williams, playing in a tough town, for a tough coach.  And so, the Nets embattled guidon bearer during their inaugural march on Kings County resigned his post, having agreed with the team on a buy-out.

Deron Williams is now headed back home to Texas, where he'll continue his playing career with the Dallas Mavericks, in front of a friendlier fan base, and a kinder, more gentler media.

He's lucky the old Brooklyn Eagle wasn't still in circulation.  They'd have ripped him with an intensely local ferocity that Deron was lucky to escape, particularly here in New York.  I hope Williams realizes, that despite what he may feel, he got off light for the very little he provided.

Just ask Melo....

The Nets moved like thieves in the night, acquiring Deron Williams in February 2011 from the Utah Jazz.  In doing so, they also stole the next day's headlines away from the Knicks and their ballyhooed acquisition of Carmelo Anthony.  The consensus, back then, was the Nets acquired the better player, a franchise player, an all-star point guard in his prime.

The only question remaining was if the soon to be free agent would stay?

The answer remained in doubt right up until the second Williams signed a 5-year, $99 million dollar contract - not just to stay a Net, but more importantly to lead the team's long planned move from New Jersey to Brooklyn.

A new deal, a new life in the city, a new team brand, and a new arena to fill, all meant Deron Williams faced a monumental challenge.  He knew that, and excepted the terms (and the money).  He indeed came to Brooklyn with a certain cache, and was indeed the right move in so far as enticing a new fan base.  Unfortunately, he otherwise leaves with his primary responsibilities largely unfulfilled.

In the end, Coach Hollins summed it up best (paraphrasing) - Deron Williams is not a franchise player, an elite point guard, or even one of the NBA's top stars...., anymore, and certainly not while he was here.

In fact, Lionel Hollins stepped all over Billy King's franchise player-elect this past season like Godzilla going through Tokyo.  Coach was ruthless at times, but always spoke the truth.

Recurring ankle injuries not only diminished Deron's level of play, but seemingly polluted his disposition as well.  Whether on or off the court, injured or healthy, the man outwardly spent an inordinate amount of time sulking and brooding perhaps over his existence with the Nets, or playing in Brooklyn, or both.

To his credit, Deron was always a man about things.  He remained accountable, and never ducked the media.

However, you have to wear Brooklyn like a red badge of courage!

There's the rub...


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