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Deron Williams says poor play in Brooklyn earlier this season was about the pain in his ankles, nothing else

Mar 16, 2013, 10:00 PM EDT

Brooklyn Nets point guard Deron Williams reacts after hitting a three-point shot against the Washington Wizards in the first quarter of their NBA basketball game in New York

It was a rough start to the season for Deron Williams in Brooklyn. He was failing miserably at living up to the max contract he signed in the offseason to remain with the Nets, and was placing blame seemingly everywhere but on himself for those early-season struggles.

That behavior didn’t exactly ingratiate himself with the fan base or the media covering the team, and created some hostility where there didn’t need to be any.

The deterioration of the relationship is on Williams for the most part, but now that he’s playing a bit better as of late, he opened up as to the reasons why his play suffered so dramatically in the early part of the season.

From Stefan Bondy of the New York Daily News (via HoopsHype):

Williams said it wasn’t the pressure of the new contract or the extra attention of the bigger market. It was all about the pain in his ankles, which has been reduced dramatically since latest round of injections.

“From walking from here to that lockerroom felt like s—. It felt like s—,” he said. “What do you not understand? I could not walk. I could not walk up my stairs without it killing me. It would take me 10 minutes to get up my stairs, especially in the morning. I feel totally different right now. I feel like I have a whole new energy.”

Again, Williams isn’t without blame here, but he may be unfairly judged for the way he honestly (and sometimes bluntly) responds to questions publicly, instead of simply uttering the platitudes and cliches that keep other players out of trouble.

Injuries can obviously have a huge effect on the ability of players to play the game at their highest level, and we sometimes don’t fully grasp the gravity of what a player deals with in terms of pain and preparation just to get onto the court in any capacity.

Of course, it isn’t easy to sympathize with a player on a max contract whose body language is poor, to the point where it doesn’t seem like he’s interested or giving the maximum effort that both fans and media demand on a nightly basis.

Williams explains his take on all of this in greater detail, so it’s definitely worth reading the entirety of his comments.

  1. samonelastains - Mar 16, 2013 at 10:34 PM

    Not to question his drive which Im sure is why he still decided to play all season on some bum ankles. But if you can’t walk off the court to the locker room or up your stairs at what point do you say, “I am injured, I need to rest and heal”. Dude had like three cortisone shots, he prolly fine now cause he cant feel his ankles at all, they swimming in cortisone. Plus is his ankles were that bad he should have said something earlier instead of talking about his coaches system and been honest from the jump.

  2. supremekingz - Mar 16, 2013 at 10:59 PM

    Ankle injuries are the most painful leg injuries there are. All your weight is on them. I tore my acl in high school and still finished playing the game.

    But when I broke my ankle a few years ago???

    Crying in the car ride to the hospital….

  3. dko83 - Mar 16, 2013 at 11:04 PM

    So did Avery get fired because of ankle pain?

    • Kevin S. - Mar 16, 2013 at 11:22 PM

      Avery got fired because he’s not a good coach.

      • dko83 - Mar 17, 2013 at 12:43 AM

        Just an opinion, but you’re wrong.

  4. kavika6 - Mar 17, 2013 at 1:10 AM

    Always with the excuses. He sounds like Kobe.

    • manchestermiracle - Mar 17, 2013 at 1:45 AM

      Five rings? Must be some killer excuses….

  5. badintent - Mar 17, 2013 at 2:09 AM

    GOTTA BE THE SHOES

  6. aldavis4president - Mar 17, 2013 at 3:41 AM

    Avery johnson is a horrible coach lol

    -07WARRIOR WITNESS

    • money2long - Mar 17, 2013 at 6:33 PM

      i believe before theat series even started, the talk was how this 8th seed, the warriors, was a bad matchup for the mavericks and how they had a legit shot to compete with dirk and em. so it wasn’t like the mavs got blindsided. the playoffs were about matchups, it wasn’t a bad coaching job by very.

      • money2long - Mar 17, 2013 at 6:49 PM

        avery*

  7. totallyuselessme - Mar 17, 2013 at 10:45 AM

    Williams isn’t a bad guy, he’s just uncomfortable in front of the mic.

    A lot of players would come off poorly with a spotlight shined on them constantly in a place like Brooklyn. Dude’s just a basketball player, not an entertainer with that kind of personality.

  8. ygdn29 - Mar 17, 2013 at 11:00 AM

    Why is every post on this site about the Nets so negative. I understand they aren’t necessarily contenters for a title, but when the team is battling for 3rd in the East with Williams playing atrociously pretty much all season, this article should be positive. The perennial all-star point guard is FINALLY playing like the max-player the Nets signed him to. Teams should begin to worry about the Nets. Stop hating on a team just to hate. Look at how they are playing and then judge them.

  9. gameover18 - Mar 17, 2013 at 1:53 PM

    How are you a bad coach if you take a not very talented mavericks team to the MBA finals?

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