Nets Need To Hold Williams Accountable

HANG TIME NEW JERSEY — There is nothing to indicate that Deron Williams had direct input on Avery Johnson‘s dismissal on Thursday. In their press conferences on Thursday afternoon, both Johnson and Nets general manager Billy King said that the blame can’t be pinned on Williams. And King added that no players were consulted before the decision was made.

Considering his comments last week regarding Johnson’s offense though, the timing of all this only adds to Williams’ coach-killing reputation. First, Jerry Sloan resigns shortly after an argument with Williams in Utah, and now Johnson is fired shortly after Williams pines for Sloan’s offense.

But let’s just put Williams’ relationship with his coach(es) aside for now, and focus on what he has done on the floor.

The numbers, both simple and advanced, tell the story. Williams has shot less than 40 percent from the field and less than 30 percent from 3-point range this season. Defensively, the Nets have been much worse with Williams on the floor than they’ve been with him on the bench.

Nets efficiency with Williams on and off the floor

On/off floor MIN OffRtg DefRtg NetRtg +/-
Williams on 996 103.3 106.7 -3.4 -37
Williams off 362 102.0 96.3 +5.7 +41
Total 1,359 102.9 104.0 -1.1 +4

OffRtg = Points scored per 100 possessions
DefRtg = Points allowed per 100 possessions
NetRtg = Point differential per 100 possessions

When you’re the star of the team, they can’t be better without you. But that’s been the story with Williams and the Nets this season. So while the Nets hope to improve in the coaching department, they also have to wonder about the $99 million investment they made in their point guard.

Williams has been saddled with various injuries throughout his time with the Nets, starting with a right wrist problem that has clearly affected his ability to make shots. But beyond his shooting numbers, there has been a lack of leadership, both in New Jersey and in Brooklyn.

Over the last few weeks, despite all the talent on their roster, the Nets have failed to respond to adversity. And that’s on Williams as much as it is on Johnson. True stars should be able to put their teams on their backs when times get tough. But Williams has really had just one star performance this season, those 14 brilliant dimes he dished out in the Nets’ only win over the Knicks.

The Nets have players with more experience than Williams, and he’s not the only guy on the roster getting paid like a superstar. But this roster was built around him. Keeping him in a Nets uniform was the reason King traded for both Gerald Wallace and Joe Johnson. He’s the two-time Olympian and he’s supposed to be the franchise player.

Being a franchise player is about more than just points, assists and defense. It’s about intangibles, both on the floor and in the locker room. It’s also about the words that come out of your mouth, both off the record and on it.

Publicly expressing doubt about what the coach is doing is a no-no, especially when you’re not living up to your end of the bargain with your play on the floor. No matter what his intentions were, Williams’ comments last week just made it harder for Johnson to do his job. The coach tried to placate his star by incorporating some of Sloan’s offense into the Nets’ system, and Williams tried to soften his quotes later on, but there was no erasing what was originally said.

Though Johnson always had Williams’ support prior to this season, there were signs that Williams wasn’t a great locker room leader when the Nets went 22-44 in their final season in New Jersey. Still, the team had no choice to re-sign their point guard and try to build a contender around him, because the alternative would have been uglier than anything that is going on right now.

With Johnson gone, the Nets have to find a new coach. More important, they have to hold Williams accountable for both his play and his leadership.

When Johnson was asked about the next potential coach for the Nets, he had a very pointed response.

“I just know when the coach comes in, he’s going to have to be able to do it his way,” Johnson said. “Hold everybody accountable, coach true to his style. That’s the way it’s going to have to be.”

Johnson, we know, comes from the School of Pop, where Tim Duncan is treated the same as the 15th guy on the roster. Why Johnson wasn’t able to do the same in Brooklyn isn’t clear, but what is clear is that the Nets’ need their biggest star to step up and take responsibility for leading them out of the hole they’re in.

While the Nets have minimal salary flexibility going forward, they don’t lack talent. And while they need to evaluate the roster, rotation, offense and defense, what they need most is a happy, motivated and productive point guard who can make the most of that talent currently in uniform.

Williams certainly has the ability to turn things around, both individually and for his team. But there’s no other way to put it than to say that he’s been a disappointment since arriving from Utah 22 months ago. And whether or not there’s blood on his hands in the wake of Johnson’s dismissal, there are certainly stains on his reputation as a franchise player.


  1. Ms Ann says:

    Deron Williams is a hypocrite after Coach Sloan was fired or quit ,now he has the nerve to mention coach Sloan defense.Maybe,the NBA league need to give DW a mental health evaluation.Why Avery Johnson the scapegoat for the lazy play of the point guard and so-called superstars?

  2. Oguz says:

    He is son of BESİKTAS.Oley oley Deron williams beşiktaşın çocuğu Deron Williams

  3. Big Al says:

    Some Kobe bashing soliloquy there, Joshua Greenfart

  4. Joshua Greenfarb says:

    Why was Mike Brown fired? Perhaps, Lakers need to hold Bryant accountable.

    • Joshua Greenfarb says:

      I wonder if Mike Brown was fired, partially because … he started coaching Kobe Bryant more meanly and vociferously … thus, Kobe whined and cried that he likes to do everything his way and no one else’s way. They started the season poorly which intensified things, and when Bryant is not happy, everyone else is on the chopping block. Literally all other players on his average Laker team and head coaches — all on the chopping blocks.

      Kobe Bryant appears to be “uncoachable.” He wants to chase individual goals instead of team goals. He comes first before the team???? Yah right. Their average Laker team would be better without … KOBE BRYANT. HE is the problem, NOT everyone else. The Lakers should’ve gotten rid of him in ’08. Now, they’re paying the price. Including two recent rings that were questionable and disputable at best — possibly fixed, rigged playoff games.

      Howard isn’t chasing his first ring; he already won in Orlando in ’09. Boston won in ’08 and ’10. Dallas in ’11. Miami in ’12. OKC in ’13???????????

      When Phil Jackson was their coach, did he ever “yell” or appear to coach Kobe sternly or harshly or publicly put responsibility on him? It appeared he just yelled at poor Pau Gasol for mistakes on the court — made Gasol the scapegoat.

      A real, good coach allocates responsibility equally on the whole team.

      I noticed during the 2012 Olympics that Kobe was also “uncoachable.” He did whatever he felt like, and for some odd reason, they kept starting him and giving him loads of playing time — although he stunk. He was out “chasing skirts.” Cheating on his wife. Whatever. Coaches didn’t penalize him for his extracurriculars. Bad move. Kobe almost cost Team USA the gold medal. Thank god he’s about to retire. Don’t want that Kobe loser on any future Team USA international teams.

      I am the truth from which you run.


  5. Yeah dwill is a good pg, but not great!!!

  6. TTOTambz says:

    Everyone wondered why Deron Williams & Dwight Howard wanted to play together so badly & one has to ask the question perhaps it has more to do with them thinking of same minds & speaking in same tongue.

    POINT IN CASE: In LESS than 2 years these two “super stars” have either directly or indirectly affected the firing of FOUR OF THE BEST COACHES IN THE NBA!

    As Arsenio was want to say… things that make you go hmmmmm……..

    Tamberlyn’s Tip-Off/@TTOTambz

  7. Shawn says:

    I think there is general consensus that DWill has talent, but lacks leadership skills and is not a team player – but a finger pointer, which demoralizes everyone around him. this was the same situation with Dwight Howard, and to me the coach D’Antoni. He can coach, but he cant lead. he crosses his arms and looks like hs is having a tantrum. The Knicks is the oldest team but are winning, why? because of leadership of the coarch and the veterans. Rasheed, Thomas ard not going to put up with any sht. TCarmelo and JR Smith focused and pushing 120%. If Sloan and AJ are not able to lead without their star balking in public it is impossible to win. The players need to learn humility. Like Chris Paul who is the ore one of the best in the league – who actually said the bench players may be better to him. Now that is leadership! Go Clippers, OKC and the Knicks!

  8. chandler says:

    d will has just been inconsistent with the nets. and if anyone has seen a nets game u know that there offensive style is not the greatest i dont blame him at all for saying the things he has said. AND every one has said hes the reason coach slone stepped down but if u know the character of slone you would know he wouldnt step down cuz of one player and a few arguments. Wish he was still on jazz! GO JAZZ

  9. Roadster says:

    D-Will, unaccountable and coach killer. Best description and right on the money.

  10. mike says:

    chris paul is way better than d will

  11. W/E says:

    THe mistake was that ppl had high expectations from him, hes a mediocre player with a bad selfish attitude he doesnt deserve 1 quarter of what is getting payed.

  12. 24thesho says:

    D. Williams is so weak, but he is now very rich, thanks to his agent. So, he will continue to be weak and overrated; I really do not understand how the Nets’ scouts still have jobs. You could have paid me half of what they make and I could still find a PG 2 to 20 times better then he is. Take the 2, 3. N, R deeper into any part of Brooklyn.; I guarantee you will find that PG whether he’s African American, Irish American, Italian American, Asian American, Latino American, Jewish, Russian; it wont matter, it’s Brooklyn, y’all! He’s out there, just minutes away.

  13. John says:

    Author claims The Nets offense and defense are better without Williams than with him. Shows chart where the Offense and Defensive Ratings are both better when Williams is on the court than off.

  14. oj says:


    It was time someone pointed the finger to this second rate point guard who acts like a Primadona…. soon enough we will strat to blame all the other players (Johnson- another overated player, lopez, etc..) Utah was happy when he left. And now? any takers? I bet there aren´t. I would bet that the russian owner will make everithing to get rid of williams because with him on the team no championship in brooklin like the mad russian said.

  15. Big Al says:

    It’s about time that Deron matches his paycheck with his performance. He is intended to do 20+ ppg, but he’s only doing 10+. He is perceived to be like Rose, Westbrook and Paul, but not quite there at the moment.

    I’m sick and tired of this blame-the-coach thing. Avery has become a scapegoat here. It is the players’ price-performance ratio that should be questioned here. What can you possibly do with a fragile Lopez, dogs like Humphries and Evans, and inconsistent Deron and Joe?

  16. rondo says:

    If the nets are playing better with deron off the floor they should try to trade him to a team like the pacers.

  17. Precious says:

    I totally agree with everyone saying Dwill is over rated, he is a good player but still over rated, over paid but then again there are a lot of players who are over paid (Boozer being one of them).

    but the Nets have to understand just because you move the team does not mean you will be a top team. . .well OKC did it but they had a good team in the back office that made some great moves. Joe Johnson and Wallace are good players but when it really counts (playoffs) they dont bump it up to that next level that is needed. . . sorry Nets but with the new name and place to play it does not compensate for the lack of good pieces. . .but then again look at LA they got Dwight, Kobe, Nash on the starting squad and they just got blown out by my city team the nuggets??. . who knows what the right formal is for a great team. . . .the clippers seem to have the right formal for the starting and bench crew. . . .but anyways the Nets might have to get rebuild and get some first round picks. . .I dont see Dwill staying if they are not winning, , ,

  18. romy says:

    larry brown or phil jackson are same because the players are one who initiate the play or game plan so what they need is a player like LJ, KB, TP, CP, CA etc.

  19. Julius says:

    DWill is really overrated and overpaid! Leadership? He has to learn from James Harden- who accepted the leadership role after signing a justifiable contract (and living with it). Skills /Talent is not everything in the NBA not unless you are a DWill or DCousins.

  20. Zay Money says:

    I remember when Joe Johnson had an injured wrist in 2011. That messed up his shooting, so thats probably what’s going on with D Williams. Williams does need to be a leader though.

  21. Richard Savage says:

    You guys are so harsh on both Johnson and D-Will. First of all, Johnson should have gotten more time. Its not like he’s coaching a contender for the NBA title or even for the entire eastern conference. The Nets do not have a talented enough team to compete in a 7 game series with the Heat, The Knicks, or even the Bulls when D-Rose is back healthy. At best they can get out of the first round and they’ll easily get swept out the 2nd. As far as D-Will is concerned to say he has been a “disappointment” is a VERY UNFAIR statement to make. When he got traded to the Nets no one could even name 5 other players on that team besidees Brook Lopez and Kris Humphries (and thats only cuz of his Kardashian situation) so you cant expect too much. He’s a point guard and he isnt a one-man show. I think they should go out and hire someone maybe like a Stan Van Gundy or even a Larry Brown type of guy who can teach them how to play a team game

  22. READ THIS says:

    Deron is a great player but not someone who can lead a franchise to a ring. His role should be different. He is a fantastic a second option player. If Brooklyn signs a real franchise player like DH12 (if he plays like in Orlando days) Deron will be more confortable and he could become the best PG in the league. He is an All-Star player but way far from leadership responsabilities. He cant be compared to elite players such as Lebron, KD, Kobe, CP3…

  23. Oneil says:

    If Diva Williams is hurt then he should be on the bench. he’s not making the team better with either his play or attitude. Go sulk at the end of the bench. I’m getting tickets to more Brooklyn games just to boo him whenever he touches the ball.

  24. JayEm says:

    First Sloan, then Johnson? A million fingers are pointed before owning up to the responsibility.. Evaluate your game and lead your team in the right direction.. 99 million dollars says you have the potential to do it..

  25. Joseph_03 says:

    I just think this is the best for them all, however as a team, the Nets need Larry Brown more than Phil Jackson given the current personnel of the Nets and their potential.

  26. Daryl says:

    Well this is what happens when you pay D Will that much money.

    The guy plays like a decent 6th man.

    I bet no team in the league would trade for him.

  27. Rocket33 says:

    This blog says it right. Deron Williams is the “superstar” on the team. A “superstar” is supposed to take responsibility, elevate his game and his team and not just point the finger when things aren’t going well.

    I think the Nets biggest problem is that he and Joe Johnson just don’t fit well together. Both great players, but one can’t dominate without taking away from the other. Johnson needs the ball in his hand to make a play, either creating his own shot or hitting the open man when the double team comes. A very good skillset to have but with Williams already in place that’s not the kind of SG they needed. I think MarShon Brooks was poised to have a big year had they not brought in Johnson. He’s a scorer in the simplest of ways, meaning get the ball and put it in the basket. And that’s all they need in the backcourt next to Williams.

    The Nets offense should be simple. Touches for Lopez and Blatche in the post. Williams running the pick and roll with those two and Humphries. And Brooks (or JJ) coming off screens for jumpers. Pushing the break a bit more will get more out of Gerald Wallace too. Williams is a top PG to run that offense, it’s at the defensive end I think he doesn’t cut it. That’s just effort on his part to sort that out.

    So, Billy King, there is my application for the current vacancy of Head Coach for the Brooklyn Nets.

  28. Jae says:

    I feel like D-Will is the T.O. of basketball. First Jerry Sloan, now Avery.

  29. Coming from a Celts fan dw is a really good player, but he should own up to his part injury, system or not & stop making excuses as he has in Utah & now. Owning up to ur part is a lot more respectable than blaming others!!! COMONMAN!!! & no it’s not all on him cause it’s a team sport, just own his part. Avery definitely should have had more time, way more. nets organization should have shown aj some favor!!! they just dist him!!! Like Celts Ainge & organization w/ Doc 2007 worst record reg season to 2008 best record plus a ring!!! I don’t think anybody can do what they did in one year, best turn around in nba history!!!

  30. Sand King says:

    he is not that good as expected… overrated player.. poor shooting percentage.. cannot lift his team when they need him, brooklyn waste the 99 max for him.. see what cp3 does in clippers now, he’s not scoring too much but he make sure that his team mate will be involve with the play..

  31. Jumppong says:

    Deron needs to be trade again send him to wizards immediately… 🙂 for draft picks or expiring contracts they need to rebuild i don’t see Brooklyn a caliber team for years to come.

  32. Bob says:

    The situation is bad. Avery Johnson seems to lack motivational skills and his rotations seem to make his players angry. Deron is a great player, the scheme isn’t working. Management sees the same problem End of story

  33. jerikobe says:

    pining jerry sloan’s system after firing him on the jazz? dwill you’re such a fake person. i don’t like u now

  34. zebo says:

    It all does not matter. The heat will win the east. and all other teams will try to revamp.

  35. carlo says:

    The article’s and mixer’s comments are down to the point. It is time for williams to step up. Deron, are you a champ or “just” a common NBA player with fantastic fundamentals? The coachability of the Spurs” Big Three is an example for the entire league

  36. Michael D says:

    D-Will cannot lead a team when the pressure is on. Nets are supposed to be an elite team. He’s not built like that.

  37. mixer says:

    Deron is forever linked with CP3 because of the draft, but I can’t see CP3 ever getting into a situation like this. He battled with NOH right til the end and took them to the playoffs, with an incredible performance. DWill is an incredible player, but there is something in his character that doesn’t hold up when it comes to being a catalysing force as a leader. I never once heard Nash talk the way DWill has, both in Brooklyn and Utah, even when the Suns were past their prime. Professionalism and leadership take great discipline and will in the face of adversity. There’s always more to things than we read of course, but the questions around DWill remain.

  38. tizzy says:

    Anyone that says D-will is not a good point gaurd, or overrated is crazy. When you break down the stats, he is the best pg in the NBA over the last 5 yrs. Yeah he was better in Utah, and he needs to lose his attitude, but when he’s on, the dude is a baller. He just can’t stand to lose. The sooner he realises that in order to win, you’ve got to be a team player, have a good attitude, and basically play like you did when you were a kid just having fun, the better off he will be!

    • Ron says:

      D-will the best pg in the NBA? Where did you get that? Efficiency wise for the guard position, D-Will was only at number 6 while C.Paul was n0. 1 last 2011-2012 season. Chris Paul is the better point guard among the two over the last 5 years when breaking down the stats to how efficient they really are.

      D.Will is not the best pg in the NBA. If he was, then why are the Nets wallowing in the .500 mark instead of being a legit contender? Yep, the Clippers is where it’s really at. You can check the standings.

      • me again says:

        I disagree, partly. Dwill CAN be a much better point guard than Chris Paul, he more athletic, better skills, stronger, whenever Dwill goes against Chris Paul, he trashes Chris Paul, Chris cannot hang with Dwill, so why is Chris doing better then Dwill? Chris is smarter and has a slightly better attitude (the reason why I said slightly is because Chris Paul always looks like he’s going to cry half the time). Chris is less selfish and doesn’t have such a poor attitude with his team mates, he knows he’s just a point guard, so he does his job well, he gets into the lane, is fast, draws 2 defendors, then dishes the ball to the open man, if no one picks him up, he goes right to the hoop, also he’s a descent shooter under 18 feet.

        I would rather have the skill set of Dwill, but the attitude of Chris Paul….. either way, neither of them is the best point guard in the NBA!

    • ^ this guy says:

      you dont watch sports

    • True Jazz Fan says:

      D-will is very overrated stats may say he is the a great point guard I don’t care what the stats say its his attitude. He may make 25-30 points a game who cares when he drags the whole locker room down like he did in utah. When D-will left the Jazz yea it left us in a bad pickle we didn’t make the playoffs that year. What did we do last year we made the playoffs. I no you will say yea but they lost in the first round to the spurs 4-0 I don’t care jazz make the playoffs every year. You can’t say that about every other team in the NBA. D-will and Boozer are ok players but they are not super stars. D-will will be another point guard that kills his own career by talking and not playing. I hate what this league has become because of jerks like D-will.

  39. Pistol says:

    D-Will and Johnson are overrated. Not bad but definitively not franchise players! Don’t deserve their max contracts. There are new Rashaad Lewis type of players.

  40. REAL_TALK says:

    Nets guys are very good, they need a coach like Doc Rivers to push them

  41. Willy says:

    Jeeze don’t we watch the NBA to be entertained? Too much bad news. I quit watching the news because its always bad news! Now the NBA? Any good news stories?

  42. Fred Hawkins says:

    Deron Williams,

    Although a great talent, has always been inconsistent throughout his career.

    Jerry Sloan was one of the greatest coaches the NBA has seen. I loved his style of coaching, always getting his players to perform beyond there ability. Popovich also has this same effect on his players, getting them to respond in his system.

    Basketball is a team sport, I still can’t understand why these organizations allow one player to high-jack the team.

    • me again says:

      Perfect post. Sloan quit because he was going to suspend D-will for a game for his poor attitude and when management refused to allow him to suspend him, he said I’m done. If management doens’t support the head coach, especially when players get out of control, then the team is going to loose! Perfect example, the Miami Heat. great talent, but once Spolstra got control of the team (ie Lebron and Wade didn’t like spolstra at first) they because a winning team.

      the Nets management is the problem here! Jazz management was the problem with Jerry Sloan, I’m glad that Popovich can still get away with coaching his team and not have the players tell him what to do. The only other coach that has that respect is Phil, he’s got 11 rings, if any players has any issues he can just tell that player, look, can you hold onto my extra ring, I’ve got 11 rings and only 10 fingers, you have no rings, so you must be acting out because you have nothing to show for your pathetic career, so if I let you borrow one of my rings, will you start playing like a champion now or are you going to cry like Dwill and be a loser!

  43. xianvalencia says:

    Both him and Carlos Boozer were better players back when they were in Utah coached by Jerry Sloan. Great coaches make great players.

  44. Game Time says:

    Same thing happened on the Jazz. Williams wasn’t putting up the type of performance they needed and the coach got the axe.

  45. Max says:

    I made this prediction after watching Williams play for the Jazz. Williams is a “one team player” ME & ME. Complains like someone (maybe in H.S.) Not a professional making big bucks on his JOB. D. Williams is fast becoming “tainted mdse.) As C. Barkley remarked last year about Cousins; maybe Williams really needs a trip to the “Woodshed” and have his rite act spelled out”. There is always another PG coming up, to send him to somewhere on someone’s BENCH or even out the DOOR. Williams has listened to the press praise him, BAD, the Press can turn instantly and tear you apart. Grow up Williams or you will become a unsaleable product.

    • everyone ditched dirk says:

      dont matter he’s already got that contract!!! coming of the bench for max cotntract is dumb for any team.brooklyn is stuck with him

  46. Julian says:

    Do your stats tell the story – or are you creating a story by looking at stats? How strong is the bench for example? Their ranking and play as compared to opponents could be just as responsible for your stats. I’m sure if D-Will played during those 362 minutes he would have even further IMPROVED those team numbers and performance in that time. Heading in 2013, can we raise the general research and therefore credibility quality past the “you may have a point” attention grab? For example, how do those numbers compare with other top or elite guards? Are there any others whose on-court team performance is comparatively worse than team performance off court?

  47. mu says:

    first of all williams is not doing good because of alll the isolation nd look and the =/- stat when johnson scores more the nets loose when deron has a good game they win

  48. bords says:


  49. Elmo says:

    two things on deron with the nets:
    – he did a good job last season, he was on one of the 3 worst rosters in the nba and made everybody better(got humphries his contract e.g.)
    – i really think his injuries, several of them, are the reason for the shooting slump. if he would shoot 45 percent he would still make 20/10, which no one else but paul and him is able to do easily….

  50. AnnoYouLater says:

    one problem that is pretty obvious is poor roster rotation…a lot of good players not trusting with big minutes

  51. j says:

    D-Will is waaaaaaaaaaaaay over rated, not to mention his attitude (much worse with it)

    • Imad Akel says:

      Agreed. He is a pretty decent player but not enough to get away with half the things he says. This is the same guy that got Jerry Sloan fired, and kept on hating on Jeremy Lin for the attention he got (calling Lin overrated at multiple occasions), and now he gets Avery Johnson fired for his own poor performance.

      Lin is 10x the character Williams will ever be, and i’ll take a humble motivated player like Lin (albeit lacking in talent) over a talented but spoiled point guard like Williams any day of the week.

      P.S. Lin’s rockets are 16-12 which is pretty good considering this is also a team that underwent major shapeshifting since last year. Cannot say the same for Deron “Coach Killer” Williams.

  52. Josh L says:

    So what the stats are saying is the Nets do better without Williams on the floor.

    • Queiros says:

      Check the board, where you can see a net rating of almost +6 pts next to the indication that Williams is off the floor…

  53. newyorksteelo says:


    • Ron says:

      Avery should have had more time…PJ Carlesimo might do well. Deron injured wrist is effecting him. You cannot have the style of play where JJ is going one on one and Brooke can’t stay healthy. They can turn it around still. But that team needed one or two more pieces. Fired him too soon but I saw it coming…Deron has to stop crying and voicing his displeasure in the media so much. Especially in New York (Brooklyn)

      • All City says: