Since the Jazz are in Atlanta to play the Hawks tonight, Deron Williams made an appearance on the TNT broadcast of "Inside the NBA" with Ernie, Kenny and Chuck. And they didn't cut him any slack. Observe:
Wow. Is it just me, or did it seem like, after unanimously proclaiming him the best point guard in the league (even specifying "better than Chris Paul"), they all really went after Deron and the Jazz? And our ninja did NOT look comfortable. In fact, he starts getting a little feisty with Barkley, who keeps insisting (as he did during the Laker game last week) that there is "tension in y'all's locker room" and that "you KNOW what's going to happen [at the end of the season when Boozer is not re-signed]."
Deron dutifully gives the party line, that there are no chemistry problems now and that no one really knows what's going to happen next offseason. But as each of the hosts repeats essentially the same question -- "Why isn't this team better than it is, or as good as it could be?" -- D-Will has to just keep shaking his head, and you can sense his frustration growing as he admits "...I wish I knew" after an awkward pause.
Consider also Deron's Tweet after his appearance:
@d_will_8_4real: Segment is going to Air on the post game show! Kenny and Charles didn't let me off the hook at all! Had a good time
Deron's never really been one to hold back his emotions. If he's annoyed, you can usually tell, even if the words themselves don't show it. He was annoyed tonight.
So I'm left wondering what to read into this. Is he just sick of having the same questions fired at him and being expected to give the golden answer? Or is this indicative of the very internal "tension" that Barkley suspects and Deron denies? (Or am I overreacting? Because that sounds like something I would do.)
Final point: We know Deron (or his representation) is pushing more publicly to make the All-Star Game this year. (And again, you can tell in his voice when Ernie asks him about it that it would mean an awful lot to him, more than he wants to let on.) Kenny says that his goal shouldn't even be set there, but rather as a first- or second-team All-NBA selection -- a goal he accomplished as a second-teamer in 07-08. I think it's interesting that people around the league seem to have such respect for D-Will... at least to his face. But when it gets right down to it, he still hasn't made an All-Star team, and he still isn't recognized for his game by the public at large.
Lots of interesting things in that five-minute interview to parse out. Let's hear what you all thought about it.