It was a unforgettable, magical whirlwind of basketball these past couple months in Istanbul. I guess.
Besiktas, the Turkish team that had Deron Williams while lawyers argued BRI on the other side of the globe, decided to send D-Will off with a jersey retirement ceremony, reports Deadspin (and the video is below).
D-Will looked pretty sloppy (and a little heavy) at the start of the season but by the end was dropping 50 on teams that could not begin to match his athleticism. He finished averaging 21.8 points and 6.5 assists per game.
This makes sense in that D-Will is the best player ever to play in the Turkish league (with all due respect to Mehmet Okur and Zaza Pachulia).
Now Williams will return to the United States and holding the Nets hostage in the last year of his deal.
As a consolation prize, the Turkish league gets to keep Sasha Vujacic, who did not sign with an NBA out.
I realize now that the headline on this post brings up memories of a legendary WKRP in Cincinnati episode, but that was not the intent. This is really the video of Deron Williams scoring 50 for Besiktas in Turkey.
As expected, no guard in that league can really stay in front of D-Will. Which is true of the NBA as well, but the guards here tend to have better help defense behind them.
There is no sugar coating it. A few games in playing for Turkish side Besiktas, the biggest name in the NBA to sign overseas has not impressed anyone.
Williams led Besiktas into the EuroCup last week, which is a second tier tournament that took place in Belgium, and he had 7 points on 3 of 13 shooting with 6 turnovers. The man who should dominate at this level watched his team get eliminated fast.
Days before that in D-Will’s debut for Besiktas he was 3 for 15 shooting.
The man the Nets are talking about building around is getting bumped around, reports the New York Times. The physical play allowed in Europe seems to throw Williams off his game.
Asked if he was still adjusting to the European game, Williams said: “I mean, I’ve played in a lot of European basketball. I’ve played in the Olympics. But this is definitely different. The way the reffing has been going has been different for me, but I’ve got to adjust.”
It is all something that should concern Nets fans. It in no way is time to panic — he’s playing his way into shape and getting his skills sharp just being out on the court — but it’s something to watch. After playing through injuries last season and missing the end of the year, Williams is still trying to find his groove.