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Deron Williams, Dwight Howard talked about teaming up “for years”

Jul 10, 2012, 10:07 AM EDT

Philadelphia 76ers v New Jersey Nets Getty Images

Conspiracy theorists like to say the plan for LeBron James, Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh to team up was hatched in Beijing during the 2008 Olympics. The three were teammates on the USA’s gold medal squad and talked about maybe someday playing together (the same way I talk about dating Kate Hudson, but believe what you want).

There may soon be another super team hatched from those games.

Deron Williams admitted to reporters that he and Dwight Howard started talking about playing together while there. Here are his quotes, via Ben Golliver of

“We’ve talked about playing together for years,” Williams said, calling the opportunity to team up “a big part” of why Howard has requested that he be traded to Brooklyn.

After that, D-Will tried to tap dance around discussion of the trade rumors themselves, although he did say teaming up like this is the only way to compete with the Heat and he did let one interesting line slip.

“Whatever happens, happens,” he said. “I think we’ll have a good team without him. I think we’ll have an even better team with him….

“I think he likes the market, this market is a lot different than Orlando,” Williams said. “I think [building something new in Brooklyn] definitely intrigues him. It’s going to be huge.”

It will be huge. If it all comes together.

  1. thatstinks - Jul 10, 2012 at 10:19 AM

    I’m sure Dwight has had the same conversation with Josh Smith ……Filthy Hawks ! Who is going to sign Kris Humphries to a multi year deal ? That house cards trade can’t possibly go through .

  2. 1972wasalongtimeago - Jul 10, 2012 at 10:28 AM

    Outrage? Anyone?

    • edweird0 - Jul 10, 2012 at 3:08 PM

      Seriously. What a load of crock.

  3. dysraw1 - Jul 10, 2012 at 10:42 AM

    when i was a skid an went to play hoops in the park, they would choose sides if i was by myself i didn’t care who i played with. but you know playing ppl who give you confidence, who know how you play an know where to find you that’s BIG

  4. golfrangeman - Jul 10, 2012 at 10:46 AM

    I don’t know what all the complaining is about. In the past dozen years the only team to repeat is the lakers and I never hear any beef with them.

  5. cantonbound13 - Jul 10, 2012 at 10:49 AM

    No kidding they discussed this, much like the 3 in Miami. Yet idiots give Pat Riley credit for recruiting Bosh & LeBron. They weren’t going to team up in Cleveland or Toronto. The obvious choice was Miami.

    • miamatt - Jul 10, 2012 at 12:30 PM

      Actually, you’d be an idiot not to see Pat Riley’s hand in that deal. Who put it in Dwayne Wade’s ear that it could be possible for one team to sign three near-max deals? Who followed up on that conversation by clearing out cap space for 2010 in order to make it happen? Was there anybody in Cleveland or Toronto who laid seven championship rings on the table? The players talked about the possibility, but only one front office that put itself in position to make it happen.

      The funny thing is, you believe exactly what Pat Riley wants you to believe. When he’s done his job best, you won’t know that he’s done anything at all.

    • truthhurtstoo - Jul 10, 2012 at 12:47 PM

      You are SO boring and predictible cantonclown. Don’t you realize that Riley is “da man” and there is nothing your puny comments can do to change that? Seek help and medications for your depression.

  6. golfrangeman - Jul 10, 2012 at 10:51 AM

    What’s the big deal!!! The only repeat in the last dozen years has been the lakers.

  7. thekingdave - Jul 10, 2012 at 10:53 AM


    No outrage but is lame just the same. Lebron was and is the best player in the league who bolted to a lesser superstars team. Btw, your inferiority complex is becoming comical as we watch you turn every PBT post into something about the Heat. You guys did just win the Finals right?

    • heat256 - Jul 10, 2012 at 11:15 AM

      Well, Einstein, since the post SPECIFICALLY mentions that same thing Wade, James, and Bosh did it is only natural to ask if there will be negative feedback for Howard and Williams doing the exact same thing.

      • adfranco - Jul 10, 2012 at 2:46 PM

        If Howard and Williams don’t act like idiots after Howard gets traded to the Nets (if he gets traded) and predict “not 5, not 6, not 7” rings, then they won’t receive the same negative attention.

      • heat256 - Jul 10, 2012 at 3:05 PM

        So players who land on a new team and are giddy at the prospect of possibly winning titles and say it – tongue in cheek mind you – are ridiculed? Would you rather have them be indifferent and say “I don’t care if we win, I’m getting paid either way”? Sure seems like it. I have NO problem with stars wanting to join up and play together. They can even act like royal a**holes about it (like Howard) or handle it poorly but still well-intentioned (James). If me and my friend were in the same field but different companies and I had the opportunity to go work with him and have fun and maybe achieve more career accolades but not always more money? I’d do it too. In case people forget (and they sure as hell do), Wade, James, and Bosh took less to bring Haslem and Miller to MIA. Wade asked James and Bosh to take less for those guys (Haslem particularly) and they said yes without a moment’s thought. Hate them for teaming up, but at least give them props for embracing sacrifice for the team. Unlike Melo and now Howard: two dopes who could have just signed outright with their new teams without having to make the gut their rosters of talent just so they could get there faster. That’s why I don’t see the Knicks and Nets as true threats in the ECF.

      • adfranco - Jul 10, 2012 at 3:20 PM

        Nothing wrong with saying you want to win, but there is a less arrogant way in going about it. How about “we want to try hard and bring this city a championship?” But 8 championships?
        And don’t get me wrong, I think D Howard is a big ahole in the way he has handled this. But tell me what team in recent memory has acted like the Miami Heat in 2010? I don’t recall the Celtics throwing a pep rally and predicting loads of championships when their big 3 got together.
        Yes, Howard is stupid for opting in another season with the Magic when he could have signed with the Nets this offseason without them trading players. But if this trade goes through, I’m sure there will be FA’s out there wanting to play for that team for cheap to have a chance to get a ring the same reason old players started flocking to the Heat after their big 3 got together.

      • heat256 - Jul 10, 2012 at 4:00 PM

        Mickey Arison, who owns the Heat, publicly took the blame for allowing a private event for fans to be publicized, so it’s on him. I don’t care that they celebrated how they did. I want a team to enjoy itself and be silly, but get down to business when it matters. We want athletes to be themselves but if they are outspoken or brash, we belittle them. For the most part, we as fans are total hypocrites. The Heat didn’t do it last year as they were too overwhelmed with figuring out how to make the pieces work. They got back and had a little fun this year and were more focused when they needed to be. Perhaps some FAs will go to the Nets as they do to the Heat, but by and large, as we see with Camby, they want to be paid first. The ones who sacrifice their stats and their money for the good of the team are the ones that help win. I saw it with Battier and I expect Allen to do the same. If Joe Johnson’s game starts to go south as he ages (a possibility), while Howard is a defensive beast, his offense doesn’t scare anyone enough and do you want Deron Williams as your No 1 or 2 scorer?

    • 1972wasalongtimeago - Jul 10, 2012 at 1:48 PM

      What can I tell you, it’s a combination of being very excited about the Heat winning the championship, the sumer being slow at work, and kids being away at camp.

      More free time + World Championship Team + Instigation Gene = More posts.

      Sue me.

  8. explosionsauce - Jul 10, 2012 at 10:54 AM

    These NBA players these days know nothing of loyalty.

    • blueintown - Jul 10, 2012 at 11:05 AM

      Loyalty does not exist in this or any other contract market. Stop.

    • ron05342 - Jul 10, 2012 at 11:08 AM

      Think about it. How loyal are you to your employer? If a better job comes along with work partners you enjoy being around and it pays better, you are not going to bolt?

      • llfreedman - Jul 10, 2012 at 12:00 PM

        You make a good point about loyalty in general, but being a professional athlete is different. Cities develop unique connections to their star athletes that goes beyond an average employees loyalty to their desk job. Fans give athletes so more than an average employer gives their employee.

        Players want to win so desperately now, that personal legacy is trumping loyalty. I can’t say I blame the athletes at all. Just from the fans prospective it is rather unfortunate.

      • heat256 - Jul 10, 2012 at 12:46 PM

        What do fans give athletes? They will boo the sh*t out of them if they play poorly or dare to be upset about playing time or their contracts. I don’t have any athletes living near me. Know why? They can afford better places than I can and don’t worry one damn bit if I’m struggling or not. I don’t care about loyalty in sports, because no one – fans, teams, players – are held to any sort of standard in that area. I’m OK with that. When Dan Marino was basically told by Wannstedt he would have to audition for a starting job, he retied. I wasn’t pissed at the Dolphins for doing it. They had to be harsh for the good of the team on the field, not a legend who was adored by the fans. I’m a Dolphins fan to this day.

      • chitownmatt - Jul 10, 2012 at 2:02 PM

        Loyalty is a virtue few men have.

        The fact that it is rare does not make it any less a virture; if you think otherwise then you are less a man.

      • bougin89 - Jul 10, 2012 at 2:07 PM

        You cannot compare professional athletes to any professional in a market where the professional doesn’t make money off of fan support. As an NBA fan I’ll gladly call out an NBA player who is acting like a crybaby(Dwight Howard) just as I’ll also gladly call out a GM for making a lousy signing/trade or owner for being a lousy owner(see what’s his face for the clippers).

        My point is the players have a right to try to force trades or sign elsewhere, but then they have to be prepared to face the consequences of the fans that feel like they aren’t loyal to the team they root for.

      • blueintown - Jul 10, 2012 at 2:16 PM

        “A man is only as faithful (loyal) as his options.” -C.R.

      • llfreedman - Jul 10, 2012 at 3:46 PM

        I agree with bougin89. I completely disagree with heat256. “What do fans give athletes?” How about the demand to see them that drives the businesses, and teams only pay athletes because fans want to watch them establishing a profitable business model for professional sports leagues. Fans are passionate- good and bad. That’s that special connection I was talking about…Fans let a player know when they feel let down. At the same time, I’m sure there is nothing like the celebrity in a city that a star player gets when things are going well. Sports brings out emotional attachments in all of us. That is why fans and (formerly) athletes value loyalty so highly in sports. We grow attached to our favorite players in ways people in other occupations don’t come close to.

    • mikejd12 - Jul 10, 2012 at 12:11 PM

      Why have loyalty to franchises that dont have loyalty back?…..etc Ray allen, boston was 2 seconds away from trading him elsewhere. Peyton manning, where was the loyalty there? Or how about leon washington on the jets. Best return man in the nfl. Team says play one more season we will get you that contract. Leon breaks his leg and they ship him off to seattle. I happens all over sports. I would not have loyalty to organizations that dont give it back.

      • bougin89 - Jul 10, 2012 at 2:36 PM

        mikejd12…The Colt’s didn’t jettison Peyton Manning. They gave him a ton of money knowing he was injured and even after sitting out a year would have picked up his huge roster bonus if he was the missing piece but they were not a good team. Peyton wanted to play for a contender in the twilight of his career so it worked out for both sides.

      • blueintown - Jul 10, 2012 at 2:42 PM

        The Colts did jettison Manning. They cut him the day before his giant roster bonus. As they should have.

  9. findthetruth90 - Jul 10, 2012 at 11:02 AM

    With what leBron went through for leaving Cleveland, Dwight should be ” figuratively speaking but you already know that he isn’t because nobody is even doing it yet. Personally I have no problem with them going where they please they are the stars for a reason but the way he a Carmelo go about it just seems so slimy. DEMANDING to be traded I mean come on what kind of inferior complex do you seriously have? Loyalty has nothing to do with it because business is business not loyalty, fans are so emotional with sports and don’t realize most of them would be the same way. Who wants to be at the same place and never win to say “I never sold out” as if that really even means anything. Players play for money and rings not money and loyal fans. This just makes another team relevant in the east. Not the it matters let’s all just be completely honest, it’s going to be a heat-peat.

    • rtfinch - Jul 10, 2012 at 11:16 AM

      lebron went through what he did because of the way he went about it. dwight and carmelo have always been straight up about wanting to be traded and where they wanted to go. lebron made everyone find out on an hour television special and didnt even have the balls to tell cleveland first. then to top it off rubbed salt in the wound by the peprally.

      • birdgang - Jul 10, 2012 at 11:44 AM

        You’ve got to be kidding me. Dwight has flip-flopped numerous times. He had the opportunity to opt out after the season and decided to stay in Orlando because he was “all in”. Out of the three Dwight has handled his situation in the worse way possible.

      • rtfinch - Jul 10, 2012 at 12:06 PM

        you’re right. im just saying lebroned earned all of the backlash he recieved. then handled it even more poorly by saying “now everyone has to go back to their miserable lives. im going to be me and live my life the way i want.”

      • mikejd12 - Jul 10, 2012 at 12:18 PM

        He never said the word misreable, but way to toss that in to make your point more valid. Lebron had a plan. He came out and said “im taking my talents to south beach”. And that was it…..period!…..Dwight on the other hand (i live in orlando) has done nothing but change his mind every week. I want to be here, i dont want to be here, i want the coach fired, ill sign the deal and stay, now i signed but get me out of here. Good lord. I dont bash howard but what lebron did was not near as bad as Howard! Lerbon had a plan, Dwight didnt…….Oh lebron did a TV show (wine wine cry cry). WHO CARES!

      • findthetruth90 - Jul 10, 2012 at 12:30 PM

        Lmao! He never once said miserable. And so what Lebron was a FREE AGENT. In sports terms that means FREE to do whatever the f you want. He didn’t demand a trade he waited weighed his options and did what made the most sense toward his legacy. And I might be the only one (sarcasm) but it seemed to be the right move winning a championship and all.

  10. findthetruth90 - Jul 10, 2012 at 11:03 AM


  11. corcow - Jul 10, 2012 at 11:05 AM

    Just don’t understand what the point of having a CBA and salary cap is for if this happens. If this does happen it will officially make the NBA this biggest joke league there is. I’m not hating on Brooklyn for going for it but if David Stern can Vito a trade for CP3 to the Lakers then how can he let this happen.

  12. asublimeday - Jul 10, 2012 at 11:20 AM

    If Kurt wrote for CNN, he would still find a way to incorporate Lebron in every story.

    “100 dead in Malaysian earthquake. Lebron James says ‘i don’t know nothin bout no earthquakes!'”

    • acdc363 - Jul 10, 2012 at 11:40 AM

      Spot on!

  13. ajek23 - Jul 10, 2012 at 11:54 AM

    Ppl why are you questioning the players loyalty??? Most of these guys were FREE agents…. 2. Why should a player have loyalty when an owner or GM will trade his superstar for picks or just for the sake of blowing the team up ah la Joe Johnson.. He did say hey ship me I want out nor did Nash… So come on ppl calm dwn…

  14. djcase31 - Jul 10, 2012 at 12:24 PM

    don’t be so quick to crown Heat champagne yet with Lakers getting Nash and OKC still strong oh and the team I love the Bulls still strong when Rose comes back.

    • findthetruth90 - Jul 10, 2012 at 12:34 PM

      Booooooo! The bulls will be Irrelevent soon and Derrick rose will be doing the same thing. Just wait and see.

    • truthhurtstoo - Jul 10, 2012 at 12:49 PM

      OKC didn’t look “still strong” in losing 4 straight to the HEAT. Did we watch the same Championship?

  15. chadinkc30 - Jul 10, 2012 at 12:45 PM

    Any Eastern conference team that helps contribute Howard to the Nets should sell their franchise! With Heat & Nets added with the Celtics, you pretty much are coming out and saying you care nothing about winning anything for the next 6 years!

  16. eaglessuperfan - Jul 10, 2012 at 1:04 PM

    Orlando is out of their minds. You NEVER get JACK when you trade a star u do not control. The Magic are being offered way more than they should ever dream of getting. Their rookie GM obviously has no clue. Just look at history (Charles Barkley, ETC) They should have just traded him last year and got it over with and never tried to get him to opt in.

  17. tyler200829 - Jul 10, 2012 at 1:28 PM

    YAWN….the heat are easily the best team in the east considering rose will be out for a while and they won’t survive like they did last year. The nets will finish 4th behind the heat celtics and sixers in that order. Then get blasted in the second round and they’ll feel the pressure to disassemble come time of the luxury tax….and please nobody else say the lakers can run through the west and beat the heat….I’m taking all bets on that one

  18. magicbucs - Jul 10, 2012 at 1:38 PM

    Jordan said it best. “I never wanted to play with the best, I wanted to beat the best.”. All these stars teaming up just means they can’t do it on their own like MJ, magic, bird, dr j did. Yes they all had a few great players with them but never had other super stars to help them.

    • findthetruth90 - Jul 10, 2012 at 1:47 PM

      You und dumb

    • findthetruth90 - Jul 10, 2012 at 1:48 PM


    • 1972wasalongtimeago - Jul 10, 2012 at 2:15 PM

      In case you didn’t read this post, Magicbus thinks MJ, Bird, Magic, and Doc played sans superstar teammates.

      In total, not including the 4 HOF players who “did it by themselves”, these 4 guys had 11 HOF teammates. ELEVEN!

      Magic had 3, MJ had 2, Doc had 1, and Bird had 5.

      Plus, the way the Celtics got Bird was so shady that they made a “Bird rule” so teams couldn’t do it again. And then, in order to keep Bird in Boston, they created another “Bird Rule”. Two Bird rules. One got him to Boston. One kept him in Boston.

      • scalfor3 - Jul 10, 2012 at 4:04 PM

        can’t break a rule that doesn’t exist yet. red was ahead of the game (again)

        those guys obviously had some great teammates with them (albeit guys who benefited tremendously from playing with legends), but they didn’t scheme to team up together to forgo the competitive balance of the league. i dont blame lebron for leaving cleveland and their incompetent front office, but teaming up with another (at the time) top 5 player and an all star was kind of a chickensh*t move.

        jermaine wiggins made this comparison on a sports radio station up here. its as if 1989 MJ decided he was gonna team up with olajuwan (10th in scoring that year) and dominique wilkins (5th in scoring that year). can you imagine jordan doing that?

      • blueintown - Jul 10, 2012 at 4:22 PM

        HE. DIDN’T. HAVE. TO. Why is this so difficult to fathom?

      • 1972wasalongtimeago - Jul 10, 2012 at 4:47 PM

        The MJ/LeBron comparison is ridiculous, at least at this point. In 10 years, we’ll talk. But what can be discussed now is the Chicago/Cleveland comparison.

        MJ was blessed to be drafted to a world class city. Who wouldn’t want to be a multimillionaire sports hero in Chicago?

        Cleveland? Imagine you’re a multimillionaire, you have the world at your disposal, but you have never left your home town. And your owner sucks. And your front office sucks. And your teammates suck.

        That’s why MJ didn’t bolt. His city and organization were good enough that he was smart to stay through the lean years. LBJ would have been an idiot to stay in Cleveland. And every single free agent in the history of free agents (money being equal) go somewhere that gives them the best chance to win. LBJ was no different.

  19. magicbucs - Jul 10, 2012 at 1:41 PM

    Always remember that those players would be nothing if us the fans didn’t show up to games, buy their shoes, shirts, jerseys and help pay their inflated salaries. I for one am never buying anything Adidas, never downloading a jay-z song or giving any more of my hard earned $ to the nba. Until maybe when stern leaves as commish

  20. mikey1977 - Jul 10, 2012 at 2:22 PM

    Tim Duncan….Dirk in Dallas…great character guys that stayed and built a team and their respective franchises to a championship…this generation of “superstars” knows nothing of loyalty…the lone exception…..Kevin Durant….he’ll likely stay with the Thunder for his entire career…

    • blueintown - Jul 10, 2012 at 4:25 PM

      Fun fact: Each of those guys has been paid or signed to at least one max contract in their career. It’s probably just a coincidence.

  21. jagwar73 - Jul 10, 2012 at 2:25 PM

    The more I learn about Dwight the less I care for him as a person. Great player but needs to play with a guy like Deron to ever win. Got to have the good guard play to win in the league.

  22. mikey1977 - Jul 10, 2012 at 2:41 PM

    Well said jagwar73….as a long time Magic fan…Howard disgusts me…he’s toyed with this franchise for two years and now wants to orchestrate his way out of town on his terms….the Magic need to make the best deal and that’s NOT with the Nets…..

  23. klownboy - Jul 10, 2012 at 2:58 PM

    As long as the Nets do not gut their roster to bring in Howard, it’s all good. From the number of teams that may be in on the trade, it looks like the Nets won’t gut it…

  24. chadinkc30 - Jul 10, 2012 at 3:19 PM

    I’m really sure Durant will be in OKC his whole career…..what are u on? Keep thinking that & you’ll be saddenly mistakened

  25. mikey1977 - Jul 10, 2012 at 3:48 PM

    Yeah chadnic30….the fact that Durant publicly proclaimed this when he signed his extension with the Thunder did nothing to help me form my opinion…..I said it’s very likely….he’s a standup guy and already on a championship caliber team my opinion is Thunder for his entire career…based on his own comments….

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