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Deron Williams still hasn’t gotten used to life in New York City

Sep 3, 2014, 4:44 PM EDT

Cleveland Cavaliers v Brooklyn Nets Getty Images

Deron Williams started his career in Utah where he and Jerry Sloan had a successful if not always tight relationship, but before he could bolt they traded him to the Nets. Those Nets needed him to open the Barclays Center and paid in handsomely to move to Brooklyn — and part of the reason he said he stayed was liking the area and the off-the-court opportunities it provided him in terms of business.

That doesn’t mean he feels like a New Yorker. Or that he doesn’t miss Utah.

Williams talked with Resident Magazine about a number of topics, including his autistic son and charitable foundation. But he admitted he’s not really feeling like a local in NYC. (Hat tip The Brooklyn Game.)

“I’m not going to lie. I don’t really feel so much like a New Yorker. I grew up in an apartment in Texas where you could send your kids outside like ‘yeah, go play in the sun.’ Here it’s more challenging. The process of getting them into school is a nightmare. Even private schools where you pay are an ordeal. In Utah, you just send your kids to the first public school in the area because they’re all great. Truth is, we enjoy getting away from the hustle and bustle and going back to Utah every summer. It’s a relief to take that timeout. No traffic. No crowds. My daughters still have their friends there. There’s a big backyard. They go to the pool; the playground and they jump on the trampoline. Kids running wild and free here (in New York)…? I don’t think so.”

It’s a different world. As a parent I get what Williams is saying — having some space to for your children to just run and be children matters, the schools really matter, just not feeling pushed and pulled matters. But there are advantages and tradeoffs everywhere in life.

Williams just sounds like a small town guy who, once his playing days end, would like to return to that lifestyle. Can’t blame him.

But in the short term Brooklyn needs him to get healthy and have a bounce back year. There’s some parity in the East after the top two teams and if Williams and Brook Lopez are healthy the Nets could do some damage for new coach Lionel Hollins… who also doesn’t strike me as a very New York guy.

  1. mackcarrington - Sep 3, 2014 at 5:11 PM

    Well, there ARE rural areas around NYC. He sounds like he’s loving in the middle of Manhattan.

    • mackcarrington - Sep 3, 2014 at 5:11 PM


      • genericcommenter - Sep 3, 2014 at 6:44 PM

        Probably loving in the middle of Manhattan, too.

    • nykfanwakemeupin2015 - Sep 4, 2014 at 11:36 AM

      Huh, what rural areas are around NYC?

  2. Mr. Wright 212 - Sep 3, 2014 at 5:23 PM

    Then he should have signed in Dallas or stayed in Utah. Tired of people like him coming here anyway. Move your family out to Long Island, the trains run directly to the arena. Who moves to Brooklyn anymore other than hipsters, yuppies and people who can’t afford to live in Manhattan? Everyone who is worth anything still living in Brooklyn and Harlem have yet to be been run out due to the exponential rent hikes.

    • shadowshand - Sep 3, 2014 at 8:50 PM

      Not sure he had an option for Dallas or Utah. Didn’t he get traded? Did he resign with BKN? If not, it will be interesting to see what he does when his contract is up.

  3. stayhigh_247 - Sep 3, 2014 at 5:33 PM

    c’mon dude, what did you think it was gonna be like? sounds like he bought a home close to work instead of buying somewhere he would like to raise his kids. Brooklyn Heights or Park Slope seem pretty nice to me but to each his own.

  4. Mr. Wright 212 - Sep 3, 2014 at 5:59 PM

    He is most likely right across the way in Boerum Hill. He could have easily achieved this by moving to Park Slope, the areas in Fort Greene near the parks, and even down towards Bay Ridge. People come here and complain even when they have millions. Go back to where you came from.

  5. pburghballin - Sep 3, 2014 at 6:27 PM

    Nothing at all wrong with what he said. Dont’ take offense New Yorkers. He didn’t trash the city, just pointed out some true differences between NYC and another part of the country. It’s true. If you worked in NYC wouldn’t you want to be as close as possible? Or at least a little close? They have the money to afford the luxury of having 2 homes. When it’s “work” season he moves to the city. Summertime, back to the country. I understand the not being in love with the hustle and bustle of the city.

    • nykfanwakemeupin2015 - Sep 4, 2014 at 11:39 AM

      Ny sucks and he learned quickly that even with the money he has its still nothing in comparison to guys on Wall St. I grew up in suburbs and moved to Manhattan and its great when you are young and single. However raising a family is a whole different life. You need to be loaded especially when you are trying to get your kids into school

  6. John X - Sep 3, 2014 at 6:49 PM

    Ever heard of Long Island Deron? You need a Realtor. Message me.

  7. campcouch - Sep 3, 2014 at 6:50 PM

    That was an interesting read. Didn’t know he enjoyed living in Utah, the articles about him made it sound like he wanted to burn the place down. Another player squashing the idea that large markets or beaches are a preference.

    • adoombray - Sep 3, 2014 at 8:16 PM

      It’s been a minute already, the kid in Utah who wanted a New York Lifestyle suddenly has kids who are getting older and is no longer universally regarded as a quality ballplayer – he’s already wondering about life after basketball and that happens after 30. I’m 32 and im all of a sudden terrified at things that were the things i wanted most just a couple years ago. I agree that it was interesting. When readers who don’t get this stuff get older and have kids, they will find it moreso.

  8. elcaminobilly - Sep 3, 2014 at 10:30 PM

    Many people are enamored of NYC until they actually get there. Most of my out of town friends say “You’re so lucky to live so close by (NYC)” and are shocked when we tell them that we don’t go there.

  9. titansbro - Sep 3, 2014 at 10:44 PM

    If you live in Manhattan you’re insane. And honestly, that’s kind if a compliment. I can barely get through a weekend in NYC with out pulling all my hair out.

  10. tomtravis76 - Sep 3, 2014 at 11:08 PM

    Move to long island. Are you kidding me, a complaining millionaire. “Utah…get me 2.” Deron Williams has gone from one of the most feared players to ,”oh he plays for them, I totally forgot about him.”

  11. peralez2383 - Sep 3, 2014 at 11:15 PM

    I like the way he thinks

  12. imakcds - Sep 4, 2014 at 10:07 AM

    I think Quality of Life is better in an environment with a slower, not so hectic and chaotic pace of living.
    moved to Hawaii for 6 months, from Los Angeles.
    man, I thought Hawaii was slow and backwards.
    moved back, and in only 6 months, I became so acclimated to the life there that it took me over a YEAR to acclimate to LA, the city I was born and raised. I was in shock for that whole year.
    I understand what Deron is saying.

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