Mar 1, 2011, 2:02 PM EDT
Deron Williams, welcome to the front line of the recruiting wars.
If you’re going to win in the NBA, you need a few stars together in one place — and that means you’re going to have to sell. You’re going to have to recruit like Gene Chizik. Especially if you are not Boston/Los Angeles/New York/Miami. If you want the big talents to come to a place like, say, Newark, you are going to have to be a good pitch man.
Williams told the New York Post he gets that, and he’s in.
“I want to win,” Williams said before making his home debut in the Nets’ 104-103 overtime loss to the Suns last night. “In order to do that, you see the trend now: two, three, sometimes four stars in every city…”
“We have the market to do that right now,” Williams said, “and I think it’s going to improve with the move to Brooklyn to attract some of the bigger name guys and it’s on not only management, but me, to try to get some people here.”
Williams, Jay-Z and Russian billionaire owner Mikhail Prokhorov make a pretty formidable recruiting team. They have one star — and one that will set up everyone else who comes to get some easy buckets. They have an owner willing to spend (as the cap allows, anyway). They have a couple nice pieces. They have Brooklyn.
It’s still going to be a tough sell. This team has still struggled the last few seasons and players need to be convinced that is changing, because they don’t see it in the standings.
One other little detail — Williams has not signed an extension with the Nets yet. He can walk in the summer of 2012. I get him wanting to work at this while keeping his options open, but if I’m a star player being recruited by Williams my first question is, “if it is so great why haven’t you signed an extension?”
But at least he’s ready to work at it. You can see the potential with the Nets. But there is a long way to go.