Deron Williams struggled in Game 2 of the playoff series the Nets ultimately lost to the Heat, going 0-9 from the floor.
This summer in a Sports Illustrated story Gotham Chopra (the director of an upcoming Kobe documentary) said Kobe Bryant said Williams psyched himself out in that game:
“Deron Williams went like 0-for-9. I was like, ‘Can you believe Deron Williams went 0-9?’ Kobe was like, ‘I would go 0-30 before I would go 0-9. 0-9 means you beat yourself, you psyched yourself out of the game, because Deron Williams can get more shots in the game. The only reason is because you’ve just now lost confidence in yourself.’”
“I’m a point guard,” Williams said about adopting Bryant’s mentality. “If I’m 0-for-f******-9, I’m not shooting 20 more shots. Not going to happen. I’m a point guard. I’m going to find somebody else. Kobe Bryant, that’s what he’s supposed to do. He’s got that mentality. That works for him, I got my mentality, it works for me.”
D-Will didn’t like being called out.
D-Will is right here.
Kobe is Kobe in part because he always believes he can make the shot, that he is the best option, his confidence in his skills is strengthened by his work ethic and is unshakable. But that can be a double edged sword — Kobe has taken high-difficulty shots over defenders rather than pass to open teammates. (If that teammate is Smush Parker, fire away, but when it’s Pau Gasol you got to dish the rock.) Kobe will gun, he just tends to make a lot.
That’s not how Williams views the game. A good point guard wants to see the ball in the hands of the guy who is hot, the guy who is open with the best look. If that’s not him it’s D-Will’s job to get it to the right guy. Kobe can and has done this, too.
But they see the game differently.