Deron: Facing Mavs ‘just another game’
Last summer, when Deron Williams was the NBA’s biggest free agent, P.J. Carlesimo, then a Nets assistant coach, had some fears that the star point guard was going to leave the Nets for the Mavericks. Carlesimo, now the interim head coach, believed Dallas was a legitimate and logical suitor for Williams. “I was always worried, just because that’s my nature. Until he re-signed, I was concerned,” Carlesimo said yesterday. “Yeah, clearly being from Dallas and Dallas having a pretty good roster — they won the championship a couple years ago — I thought it was a viable option.” Carlesimo said he believed Williams would ultimately stay with the Nets, which he did. Tonight at Barclays Center, Williams will face his former pursuers when the Nets battle the Mavericks for the first time since Williams snubbed Dallas for Brooklyn. “It’s just another game,” Williams said. It would probably be a little different if Williams were facing a team he didn’t merely flirt with joining, but actually had played for. Things also might be different if the game were in Dallas, where Williams might receive a harsh reaction from the fans for rejecting their team. Williams did not want to chat much about his offseason dealings with Dallas. “That’s behind me. I’m part of the Brooklyn Nets,” he said. “There’s no reason to re-visit that.” In October, Williams was fed up with the Mavericks’ talk because he and Dallas owner Mark Cuban had been involved in an exchange (not face-to-face) about the previous offseason’s free agency. Williams initially said the fact Cuban wasn’t present in July when the point guard met with the Mavericks influenced his decision on where to go. Cuban then told the Dallas Morning News: “I’m a big D-Will fan, but I’m kind of surprised that he would throw his front office under the bus like that by saying that I would make a difference.”
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