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.