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Deron Williams “surprised” Avery Johnson was fired

Dec 27, 2012, 10:42 PM EST

Brooklyn Nets v Miami Heat Getty Images

“I’m shocked, shocked to find that gambling is going on in here!”
—Captain Renault, “Casablanca”

Deron Williams sat out the Nets game Wednesday due to a sore wrist, an injury he had played through much of the season. That came after Williams saying publicly how much he liked the old “flex” offense Jerry Sloan used to run in Utah.

Read into all of that what you will.

Same with Deron Williams comments to the New York Daily News about the firing of Nets coach Avery Johnson.

“I was surprised,” Williams said in a telephone interview with Daily News. “I never had any conversation with (GM) Billy King about not liking coach, nothing about coach Johnson. Avery was a big reason I came back, because him and Billy. So I was surprised.

“We’ve never had an argument, we’ve never had a fight, any disagreements, anything. So, I think it was more kind of what happened in Utah, people still saying I got coach Sloan fired even though he resigned and that’s going to stick with me for a while.”

Williams is right — he came back to the Nets when he had other teams interested last summer, so there couldn’t have been any serious issues. But Williams play this season and the Nets team play this season suggested to Nets management and ownership that Johnson had lost Williams.

And Johnson told Stefen Bondy of the Daily News (on Sulia) that something seemed amiss to him.

“Seasons have a way of changing. And this was a bad patch, a bad spot on the season. And basically ownership and management said that. If that was the case, I thought we should just ride it out. But obviously something changed and ownership gets a lot of feedback from players. Maybe the players weren’t happy with the direction we were going. And maybe collectively they probably all decided there needed to be a change.”

Williams says that kind of thing never happened. At his press conference, GM Billy King said Williams was not involved in this the decision, it was by him and owner Mikhail Prokhorov.

Do teams make these kind of moves without some input from their franchise player?

You can decide for yourself. But it seems unlikely to me.

  1. somekat - Dec 27, 2012 at 10:49 PM

    what he meant was, he was surprised it was just johnson, and that king wasn’t out the door too

    • money2long - Dec 28, 2012 at 12:14 AM

      naa, what he really meant to say was he was surprised avery johnson was fired at 12pm and not 9:30am

  2. monkeyhateclean - Dec 27, 2012 at 10:50 PM

    C’mon Deron, you killed more coaches than Dwight Howard!

    • somekat - Dec 27, 2012 at 11:01 PM

      aren’t they tied?

      • Mr. Wright 212 - Dec 28, 2012 at 1:21 AM

        TECHNICALLY HA. But you can’t blame Dwight (solely) for Howard.

      • Mr. Wright 212 - Dec 28, 2012 at 1:21 AM

        *for Mike Brown (drunk)

  3. Mr. Wright 212 - Dec 27, 2012 at 10:53 PM

    F’n liar.

  4. Gordon - Dec 27, 2012 at 11:02 PM

    2 things:
    1) He came back to Brooklyn because they were the only ones who could offer a max deal.
    2) Remember all the chatter about this guy being the best PG in the league…better than Paul & Rose? Yeah, I thought that was pretty funny as well.

    • Mr. Wright 212 - Dec 28, 2012 at 1:20 AM

      ME TOO

    • kanemoney - Dec 28, 2012 at 4:27 AM

      I still think he is a top 5 PG. To be honest, I struggle to separate:

      Paul
      Rose
      Rondo
      D-Will

      I think you can make arguments for each.

      • 00maltliquor - Dec 28, 2012 at 4:57 AM

        I know, me too.

      • Gordon - Dec 28, 2012 at 8:49 AM

        It’s not that hard for me to separate them. One has been MVP of the league…the others haven’t.

      • lew24 - Dec 28, 2012 at 1:45 PM

        @Gordon…one has a title and the others don’t!

        You can make an argument for each.

      • kavika6 - Dec 29, 2012 at 3:07 AM

        Rose who? williams is nowhere near as good as Parker. He isn’t even top five.

  5. thetooloftools - Dec 27, 2012 at 11:20 PM

    Williams is a punk and a clown. He is not a leader and has no heart. He balls when he feels like it. He’s a joke. Nobody wants to coach this lil’ 8itch.

    • 24thesho - Dec 28, 2012 at 7:10 AM

      Williams is an overrated PG who just happens to be a little better than a lot of mediocre guards in the league, also, he’s very lucky. To me, Chris Paul is only a little better and has better players; they were both kinda soft in the Olympics against Spain and Argentina. Joe Johnson is something I could never really understand and the fact that they’re in Brooklyn is ironic because all the Nets would have to do is walk a few blocks or maybe take a short subway ride within Brooklyn alone to find a better PG. I’m not a Stehen Marbury fan but he was was better than a lot of these punks making all of this money. Too bad. I think Ricky Rubio, and Rajon Rondo will be the 2 top PG in the NBA in the coming 2 years.

      • pl4tinum514 - Dec 28, 2012 at 8:23 AM

        I think Kyrie Irving might have a say about that

      • 24thesho - Feb 15, 2013 at 11:38 PM

        As I replied to the same post. C’mon!

      • 24thesho - Dec 28, 2012 at 8:29 AM

        Kyrie, for sure but if Rubio stays healthy, he will be in the top 2 spots for PGs.

      • Gordon - Dec 28, 2012 at 8:51 AM

        I think Rose has something to say about that.

      • 24thesho - Feb 15, 2013 at 11:37 PM

        Rose would not have tried to dunk on Blake Griffin, so, just that alone makes Rose a better player. Rose is not overrated, dude. Did you see the Olympics? C’mon!

  6. tjromanello - Dec 27, 2012 at 11:25 PM

    When an owner and GM don’t realize there is lack of talent, Johnson is actually the lucky one

  7. kavika6 - Dec 28, 2012 at 1:29 AM

    Who could possibly like deron williams? I wonder who his next victim will be.

  8. 32stork - Dec 28, 2012 at 3:14 AM

    Deron Williams is just another turd floating in a bucket full of $h*t.

  9. cranespy - Dec 28, 2012 at 6:47 AM

    This guy is a pariah……no team he is on will ever challenge for a championship. Mark it down, his career will be highlighted by two words…..COACH KILLER.

  10. davidly - Dec 28, 2012 at 7:38 AM

    Regardless of what you think happened behind the scenes, there isn’t any hard evidence that he had any input. And the Casablanca analogy is dastardly specious, but on a meta level quite revealing about the sordid nature of this entire discussion.

    The way I see it is this: Management in both Utah and Brooklyn (amongst many others in the history of the league) have run their team in a fashion that has ended up putting coaches on the chopping block, which leads to statements like, “But Williams play this season and the Nets team play this season suggested to Nets management and ownership that Johnson had lost Williams. by Kurt Helin.

    Fair enough. But the rest is just speculation. Sure, the “I never watch reality-tv” reality-tv lovers eat it up because, as we know, 24/7 sports’ coverage is bland without the private drama played out on a public stage. Kind of like pro wrestling. It’s entertainment, baby!

    But until Sloan or AJ come out and say so–not some unnamed insider, “source close to [yet another unnamed person in the greater chain-of-command]”, mind you, a la PJ or SvG–then I see no reason to compound the private tragedy of a someone being fired in public by slandering someone else’s already slandered reputation.

    Finding a villain and making him pay may seem like a catharsis–it works after all on Days of Our Lives–but these are real lives here, it ain’t worth it.

    • kavika6 - Dec 29, 2012 at 3:15 AM

      Sloan and Johnson aren’t public whiners like williams. They’re mature enough to not publically insult williams the way he does to them.

  11. fanofevilempire - Dec 28, 2012 at 7:46 AM

    CP3 is without a doubt the BEST point guard in the league!
    Next I would say is Knicks pointman Raymond Felton.

    • urodaddy07 - Dec 28, 2012 at 4:48 PM

      For me Rajon’s impact is bigger than the other PGs, in my opinion, he is the best passer of the lot. Of course this may have to do with lack of production at the other positions. CP3 combines all the skills a PG needs best, ball handling, shooting, passing – best all round I think. Rajon for me is a better defender. D. Rose is by far the most explosive, he is solid shooting wise, but not as consistent a shooter as CP3. He is not as good passing the ball as I like PGs to be. So he certainly can explode offensively, but I don’t think he won the MVP on his skill as passer, so for me the argument of him being MVP not all that relevant to the argument of best PG; neither is the argument of number of titles.
      D. Will for me is not really in the picture at all.

    • tuberippin - Dec 28, 2012 at 6:16 PM

      Raymond Felton? you got jokes.

  12. fanofevilempire - Dec 28, 2012 at 7:47 AM

    CP3 is without a doubt the BEST point guard in the league!

    Next I would say is Knicks pointman Raymond Felton.

    • borderline1988 - Dec 30, 2012 at 8:16 AM

      Rajon Rondo is #2.
      Russell Westbrook & Derrick Rose are next. Parker is also up there. Then Felton, Irving, Deron Williams – perhaps even Jrue Holiday the way he’s playing this season.

  13. henryd3rd - Dec 28, 2012 at 8:53 AM

    Avery Johnson has had a reputation of wanting to control every aspect of the game and some players chaff under those restrictions. His nickname the “Little General” says it all. Having said that getting fired two days after Christmas and on your wife’s birthday can be a real downer. One consolation his contract is guaranteed.

  14. omniusprime - Dec 28, 2012 at 9:03 AM

    Deron Williams is total scum. The jerk who killed Jerry Sloan’s illustrious career deserves no mercy for that despicable act. The only thing Deranged Deron was surprised about was how long it took management to fire Avery Joihnson. If Deranged Deron is a coach killer then maybe the Lakers should pick him up now so he can kill the career of Dumbtoni swiftly so Phil Jackson can be brought in.

  15. hoops45 - Dec 28, 2012 at 1:59 PM

    To blame Deron for Avery’s firing is the most asinine thing one can say. Billy King, the second worst GM right after Rod Thorn, is the boss of both Deron and Avery. He’s the architect who convinced phokorov who’s the right coach. A player doesn’t hire a coach, the GM does. The GM fires a coach, in this case because phokorov demanded it. Billy King is the person who needs to take the blame, it’s his job to get maximum return out of the coach and he’s failed at that!

  16. rodyaugu - Dec 28, 2012 at 5:21 PM

    He was surprised becasue, he thought thought it was Joe Johnson who got fired

  17. emosnar - Dec 28, 2012 at 6:59 PM

    Im glad to see NJ fans are starting to realize Deron is an overrated player. Coach killer or not. Dude is way over hyped. Has he even been to the playoffs yet? I dont think he even cares if he does. He is not a real leader and basketball IQ is questionable. Big ups Deron… “Team Killer”

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