Every time I see Deron Williams after the surprising trade 3 seasons ago I cringed but then I saw the HEADBAND and realized it was a minor eff you to Jerry Sloan. See Utah's players have never worn headbands to keep a uniform team look. Everyone wears white shoes (Deron brought in the black shoes for away games) and nobody wears a headband because it makes a player standout. It was shocking to see Dee Brown years ago with dreads but that detracts...
Deron was traded for the farm and as Jazz Nation we still know very little about what happened. I am very happy the deal happened because we never were sure Deron would have stayed in Utah because he signed that 3 year deal and not the max. We know have Derrick Favors, Enes Kanter, Alec Burks and you could even say Marvin Williams and Mo Williams because of that one trade.
So it all started back in 2008 at the Beijing Olympics on Team USA. Deron got to talk to other stars, one being Dwight Howard, about playing in Salt Lake City. Lets just say that Deron Williams wasnt enough star power to attract another big name player. Thats why last night with Al Jefferson saying he wants to be a "Utah Jazz" is so nice to hear. Kevin O'Connor (KOC) heard about these talks Deron was having and that planted the seed and that same summer DWill signed a 3 year deal, not max, which left us all wondering why. It later came out that DWill told KOC that he "would wait and see" after year 3. Not like Kevin Durant saying he was there to stay or anything that sounded remotely promising.
So last night I heard David Locke say he believed the actual "beginning of the end" happened 3 seasons ago in Boston. Here is the Boxscore from the Jazz at Celtics game back in 2010-11 where Locke believes Deron actually gave up on Jerry Sloan and the Jazz system. If you look at the stats Deron only has 5 points and his +/- rating is -12 which is horrible. He plays less minutes than backup Earl Watson. He had 5 turnovers and the Jazz lost by 24 points. Williams had a 25% shooting percentage.
Sloan's last game was Feb 9th in Utah against the Bulls when Deron was visibly upset and had the halftime blowup which had Jerry ask to retire and management had him sleep on it then the next morning he retired. That was 2 weeks after the Boston game. Deron had one amazing game against the Spurs in Utah in between where he scored 39 points and looked to be looking for himself, aside from his padded 9 assists.
The numbers dont lie from what David Locke believes in that Boston game 3 years ago.
Here is what the associated press said about the game. 'Deron Williams had a season-low five points for the Jazz, who have lost three in a row. He made just one basket -- his fewest in almost 12 months -- to end a string of 48 straight regular-season games of double-digit scoring.'
"I was ready to get out there and play today. If I could have just got a chance, maybe could have done something," said Williams, who had a stomach bug on Wednesday and missed the pregame shootaround but played against New Jersey. "But I didn't have a rhythm early. Two quick fouls -- two quick calls, I should say -- took me out of my game and I really couldn't recover."
'Williams took just four shots and played a season-low 23 minutes, picking up his second foul with 8 minutes left in the first quarter and his third with seven minutes left in the half. Utah's leading scorer with 22.1 points per game, he didn't score at all until 8:28 remained in the third quarter.'
Deron Williams was at a loss. Nearly speechless. Completely frustrated and flustered. But instead of firing away, pointing fingers or indulging in dramatics, the Jazz guard initially opted for near silence. "I don't even got much to say," Williams said. "It's rough. It's been rough all season. And it's getting worse," said Williams, who was held to a season-low five points on 1-of-4 shooting.
We were mad four minutes into the game," CJ Miles said. Then he delivered a stronger message. Miles said that a Utah team known for its year-to-year consistency is about to be seriously tested. The Jazz have lost three consecutive games for the first time in more than a year — a period when Carlos Boozer, Wesley Matthews and Kyle Korver were still wearing Utah uniforms.
Longtime Utah guard Ronnie Price said that he doesn't know what's going on with the Jazz right now, while Williams acknowledged that it isn't in coach Jerry Sloan's character to make a sudden lineup change just to find a spark. "This is the first time it's been this bad with these new faces," Miles said.
Here is this summers New York Times interview, 'Deron Williams has been one of the NBA’s top point guards for several years. But the Nets star — and cover athlete for "NBA Baller Beats," a new video game that is being released today — isn’t sure he would have gotten the opportunity to be on the game’s cover if he were still playing in Utah.' "Probably not," Williams told The Post yesterday. "There’s not a lot of national opportunities in Utah. There’s definitely some local stuff, some regional stuff, but not too much national stuff."
We all know what Karl Malone said about Jerry Sloan leaving Utah and how Assistant Coach Phil Johnson left alongside Jerry Sloan. Remember if the Lockout would have happened all year and no games were played Deron could of (my opinion would of) never played in Utah again after the 10-11 season, KOC traded him with about 30 games left.
The Salt Lake Tribune reported this days after the trade. 'Several Jazz players took up for Williams, pointing out that he was dealing with a tough situation any star would have suffered from. One player (Most likely CJ Miles) went so far as to compare Williams’ struggles leading a team that played for the strong-willed Sloan and an equally rigid organization to the same no-win scenario that the Lakers’ Kobe Bryant faced early in his career. Meanwhile, veteran Utah guard Raja Bell backed his friend, saying that he had no problem with how Williams led the Jazz. "Part of being a leader on a team is voicing your opinion at times when you think your team is not being put in the best position to win," Bell said (We know how things ended for Raja).'
In the end Williams was shocked and saddened when he was unexpectedly traded Wednesday. He recoiled again when informed that some teammates complained about his leadership. "Man, that would surprise me a lot, because I definitely took blame," Williams said. "I didn’t think I was playing well, and I hadn’t been able to do the things that I’m capable of because of my wrist [injury], and I think the guys knew that. If that’s how they felt, that’s how they felt."
Williams always said he wanted help, he wanted a trade before the deadline but wouldnt just become that star. He made the promise when we brought in Al Jefferson to "Make him an All Star."
In closing this sums up a lot of how I feel: 'For the last couple of years, the Jazz had watched Williams get angrier and angrier as players left Utah for greener pastures. He got into the occasional verbal dustups with Jerry Sloan, but they figured they were no worse than what Kobe Bryant and Phil Jackson occasionally had to work out behind closed doors, or any other star player and his coach.' They didn't get all that upset when Williams would insist on running pick and roll plays early in games instead of running Sloan's offense -- so that, the team increasingly believed, he could get a leg up on piling up early assists, according to a source with knowledge of the Jazz's thought process. "He wanted to coach a little bit, too," the source said. "But he was like that in college."