Tag:Deron Williams
Posted on: February 4, 2012 3:53 pm
Edited on: February 5, 2012 3:47 am
 

Jazz CEO trashes Karl Malone in blog post

Posted by Ben Golliver
Jazz CEO Greg Miller went off on Karl Malone on his blog. (Getty Images)

Things are getting really real in Utah.

This is a long, complicated and hyper-emotional soap opera, so I'll do my best to distill the key details.

Hall of Fame Utah Jazz coach Jerry Sloan abruptly retired during the middle of the 2010-2011 season after reportedly getting into a locker room argument with All-Star point guard Deron Williams. Everyone involved was really upset, given Sloan's long tenure as one of the most well-regarded coaches in the league. Williams was traded soon after to the New Jersey Nets.

As things unfolded, Hall of Fame Jazz forward Karl Malone rushed to the defense of Sloan and insinuated that the Jazz hadn't done right by Sloan. He later claimed in a Salt Lake Tribune column that the Jazz also had not offered him tickets to the first game of the post-Sloan era, forcing him to purchase scalped tickets for himself.

This particular claim totally set off Jazz CEO Greg Miller, who wrote on Twitter that Malone was "lying" and then doubled-down on his angst by penning a piercing 1375-word blog post in which he aired decades of grievances and family business. In his post, published on his blog GregInUtah.com, Miller calls Malone "high maintenance," "unreliable," "unstable," and said that he would be unfit to serve as a coach for the Jazz big men.

Miller provided a laundry list of Malone's alleged flakiness and then offered his take on the ticket scandal, writing that Malone was using the situation as a stage to lobby for a job with the Jazz.
A year ago, when Jerry retired, Karl rushed to Salt Lake City. He got in front of every camera he could find at the first game following Jerry’s departure. He positioned himself as an authority on Jerry’s departure by saying something like “the Jerry Sloan I know isn’t a quitter. He left because he didn’t feel wanted.” Karl wasn’t in the locker room during the conversations with me and Jerry. Had he been, he would have seen me (and my mom) do everything possible to convince Jerry to stay. By his own admission Karl hadn’t spoken to Jerry since Jerry left. Karl’s comments on the radio and on national television made an already stressful situation worse. Then in his next breath, on national television, Karl asked me to hire him as a coach.

These are just a few experiences I’ve had with Karl that clearly demonstrate that he can’t be counted on. I am not willing to invite the elements of unreliability and instability into the Jazz organization. It would obviously do more harm than good.

The Salt Lake Tribune reported Malone's response, which was essentially: "Oh yeah? Say it to my face."
"We’ve all become very brave when we’re tweeting, texting, blogging. We just write, press send. I don’t have time for that. Don’t tweet it, don’t blog it, don’t text it, give me a little human element. I’m in town two or three times a month. Until I see [Miller] face to face, there won’t be any more comment about Greg Miller. … He’ll see me again.
The paper also reported a statement from Sloan, which, as you would expect, was total class. Sloan said that the team had his back, tried to get him to stay on as coach and that the family conducts itself with integrity.

Meanwhile, Williams, who had been criticized by Malone, emerged as the smartest person in all of this, telling the Associated Press: "I don't respond to people who talk about themselves in the third person."

Miller would have done well to heed Williams' advice himself. Malone is a legend, sure, but he is human and his personality quirks are well-documented. Family business is family business, and ranting for paragraph after paragraph against a valued former employee is simply never the right move for any business owner. It's one of those ancient axioms: you can't defend your reputation by smearing someone else's. You might feel better after venting but your method will be remembered far longer than your words.

It won't be long until regret sinks in. An apology from Miller -- if not to Malone, then to fans of the team for his expression of emotion -- is the likely next chapter of this story.
Posted on: February 1, 2012 3:26 pm
 

Deron Williams considering picking up option

Posted by Royce Young

The clock is ticking on the Nets. Not just on their time in New Jersey as they prepare to move to Brooklyn, but also on Deron Williams. He's a free agent this summer and with the Nets not doing anything as of yet to convince him to stay, the Nets' gamble on Williams may turn out to be quite the swing and miss.

But Williams might add a little bit of time to that clock. He could, possibly, pick up his player option and therefore become a free agent in 2013.

"Yeah (picking up the option is something I'm considering). I don't know what I'm going to do," Williams told the New York Daily News. "At the end of the season, I'm going to figure out what's going on, I'm going to sit down with my agent and look at every option possible."

Not exactly a glowing endorsement, but it's something. The fact Williams would admit he's considering it, even though he almost won't do it, is a little glimmer of hope that he enjoys the organization and believes in their plan.

Before the season, Williams said he wouldn't be signing an extension with the Nets. He also said though that it was a 90 percent chance he'd stay with the Nets. But potential suitors are lining up for him, most notably his hometown Mavericks. He's going to have options and he's going to want to go somewhere he can win and win now. He's been in a rebuilding situation for full year now with the Nets and he's not used to be in a losing circumstance.

If the Nets don't start lining up plans to get Dwight Howard soon, or at least something that helps Williams, he won't only pass on exercising that options, he'll pass on signing a new deal at all this summer and pack his bags for another city.
Posted on: January 31, 2012 12:05 pm
Edited on: January 31, 2012 12:39 pm
 

Stephen Jackson the key to getting Dwight Howard?

Dwight Howard wants to play with... Stephen Jackson? (Getty Images)
Posted by Royce Young

The Dwight Howard rumor mill might be reaching an all-time low. And this teaming up with other players thing is getting a little out of hand.

Because ESPN reports that Dwight Howard wants to play with... Stephen Jackson? Wha?
"If the Nets want to improve their chances, my understanding is that Stephen Jackson and Dwight Howard have talked several times about playing together. And [they] would love to do so with the Nets with Deron Williams at the point guard setting them up. If the Nets want to improve their chances of getting Howard, making a deal for Stephen Jackson as well ... should be on their menu."
You hear about Deron Williams and Howard wanting to pair up or maybe Rose with Howard or at a time Chris Paul with him, but Stephen Jackson definitely wasn't to be expected. I suppose they're friends and people like to work with friends, so I guess it makes sense.

Jackson though hasn't been happy with the Bucks as they won't extend his contract. Jackson is on an expiring deal paying him $10 million this season. Said Jackson, "Everybody knows the situation. My situation is going to get better soon. Until then, I'm going to support these guys and continue to collect my check." Doesn't exactly sound like the happiest man in the world with his situation.

As Howard Beck of the NY Times tweeted: "Possibly relevant: They have the same agent." Yep, that could potentially be a major part of this. And it could give an idea where this rumbling is coming from.

But you can be sure that the Nets will have an eye toward Jackson if that really means an edge to get Dwight Howard. That franchise has basically sold its soul to build around a Williams-Howard combo. So if Howard said he had to have Leonardo DiCaprio as his power forward, I can guarantee Billy King would be getting on the phone to see what he could do.
Posted on: January 20, 2012 5:46 pm
Edited on: January 20, 2012 6:05 pm
 

Deron Williams' list: Nets, Knicks, Mavs, Lakers?

Posted by Ben Golliver deron-williams-nets

The New Jersey Nets are 4-11 and going nowhere fast, so there's no choice but to open the floodgates to reports of All-Star point guard Deron Williams' future.

ESPN.com reports that Williams, who can opt out of his contract and become a free agent this summer, has a list of four teams in mind.
Deron Williams' first choice is to stay with the Nets and to build something special in Brooklyn, but if it doesn't work out with his current team, his short list of desirable destinations includes the Mavericks, the Knicks and the Lakers, according to sources close to the situation.

Williams has publicly stated his desire to re-sign with the Nets, and New Jersey, which views him as a building block for next season's move to Brooklyn, has refused to entertain potential trades involving Williams. Yet both sides know their future together is tied to Dwight Howard.

If the Nets are able to obtain Howard, either through a trade before the March 15 deadline or in free agency this summer, Williams will re-sign. If Howard goes elsewhere, Williams is likely to leave New Jersey, according to the sources.
Ken Berger of CBSSports.com has reported that the Mavericks are a major player in the D-Will sweepstakes.
 
Let's take a quick. look at Williams' four preferred destinations, ranking each on a scale of 1-10 for how badly they need Williams (one being not at all, 10 being desperately).

Dallas Mavericks (6): The NBA's oldest team needs an injection of youth and top-flight star talent. Franchise forward Dirk Nowitzki had dealt with a nagging knee injury this year and his production has taken a hit. The ageless Jason Kidd is less than a year removed from a championship, but he's 38 years old and in the final year of his contract. The Mavericks could potentially have laods of salary coming off their books this summer and the best players they have under contract going forward are Nowitzki, Shawn Marion, Rodrigue Beaubois and, potentially, Lamar Odom. Williams is the kind of veteran point guard who can get the most out of the mixed-and-matched parts Mavericks owner Mark Cuban always seems to assemble. Given the 2011 rings that are already in hand, landing Williams would amount to a coup rather than a franchise-defining turn of events. If he goes elsewhere, there won't be crying in the streets. 

Los Angeles Lakers (9): Like the Mavericks, the Lakers are aging and need a longer-term answer at the point guard position. But there's an added urgency, as Lakers guard Kobe Bryant approaches the twilight of his career and continues his quest for six rings to match Michael Jordan. Bryant needs a point guard who can create his own offense and make Bryant's life easier. That point guard should have been Chris Paul, but we all know NBA commissioner David Stern stepped in on that one. Williams could be that guy, too. Williams and Bryant were both members of the 2008 Olympics Gold Medal-winning team and they share a desire to win immediately.

New York Knicks (10): The Knicks are underperforming to start the 2011-2012 season, starting 6-8, and should make a push before all is said and done. But the notion that one of the league's most stacked frontcourts could make up for arguably the league's most barren backcourt isn't panning out, and it's incredibly difficult to imagine this team winning a playoff series without a major infusion of talent. After being subjected to Toney Douglas and Mike Bibby, Knicks fans are frothing at the mere mention of Williams' name. Swap Williams into the mix for one of New York's Big 3 of Carmelo Anthony, Amar'e Stoudemire and Tyson Chandler and more wins are sure to result. 

New Jersey Nets (167,000): New Jersey is essentially unwatchable with Williams on the roster so their desperation to retain him really can't be quantified. The Nets mortgaged their entire franchise in trading a package of Derrick Favors, Devin Harris and picks to acquire Williams from the Nets at the 2011 trade deadline, and they've struggled to surround him with anything except mediocre (and worse) talent. Somehow landing Dwight Howard is the longshot panacea for their team's treadmill of terrible, but good luck with that one. The Williams affair almost certainly ends badly for New Jersey.

Posted on: January 7, 2012 1:54 pm
Edited on: January 10, 2012 6:33 pm
 

Report: Team USA to set first roster in 2 weeks

Posted by Ben Golliver

2008-team-usa

With the 2012 London Olympics just seven months away, Team USA is reportedly heading for its first round of roster cuts.

ESPN.com reports that USA Basketball Director Jerry Colangelo will announce a roster of 18 "candidates" to make the 2012 team in less than two weeks.
"We have so much talent right now, the pool is extraordinary," Colangelo said.

The final 12-man roster and six alternates must be submitted June 18, before the NBA Finals will be complete. But all 18 names have to be given to the U.S. Olympic Committee by the end of January to be placed in the drug program.

Colangelo said the announcement will be made by Jan. 18.

The site reports that the only player not on either the 2008 Beijing Olympics team or the 2010 Turkey World Championships team who is under consideration is Los Angeles Clippers All-Star forward Blake Griffin. Given his starpower, Griffin seems a lock, leaving 17 spots in the pool.

Eight of those are expected to go to 2008 Beijing Gold Medal-winning players: Carmelo Anthony, Chris Bosh, Kobe Bryant, Dwight Howard, LeBron James, Chris Paul, Dwyane Wade, Deron Williams. All seem solid locks.

That least nine spots for members of the 2010 World Championship team. Six players who would seem to be locks from that roster: Tyson Chandler, Kevin Durant, Rudy Gay, Kevin Love, Derrick Rose and Russell Westbrook.

That leaves three final spots in the 18-man pool contenders for the rest: Eric Gordon, Danny Granger, Andre Iguodala, Brook Lopez, Lamar Odom and Rajon Rondo.

The toughest decision at this stage will likely come in choosing a third true center in Lopez or another talented perimeter player in Granger, Iguodala or Odom. USA Basketball has been built on versatility and athleticism in the recent past but its wings are crowded with an embarrassment of riches. Love and/or Griffin could swing up from power forward to center, though, which could free up a spot for another wing in the 18-man group.

Another question is Rondo. He withdrew from selection from the 2010 team after it became clear he wasn't going to make the cut. Given the big names in front of him (Paul, Rose, Williams and likely Westbrook), what happens here? Paul and Williams both have recent injury concerns and Rondo's talent level is such that leaving him off this early would seem a risk not worth taking.

No matter how you slice it and regardless of who is left on the outside looking in, this team is stacked. Looking ahead, assuming full health from all involved, an 18-player pool and a final 12-man roster could look something like this. Cuts designated in parentheses.

PG: Paul, Rose, Williams, (Westbrook), (Rondo)
SG: Bryant, Wade, (Gordon)
SF: James, Durant, Anthony, (Gay)
PF: Bosh, Griffin, (Love)
C: Howard, Chandler, (Lopez)
Posted on: December 29, 2011 3:04 pm
 

NEWS: Dwight Howard and Deron Williams eat dinner

Posted by Royce Young

Dwight Howard needs to get traded soon. Because otherwise, we're all going to have to take note of his eating habits, among other things.

Via the Star Ledger, Howard told reporters that he had dinner in New Jersey with Deron Williams when the Magic came to town to play the Nets. Why is that at all something we should care about? Well, because of that whole thing where Williams wants Howard to come to the Nets and the whole thing about Howard maybe wanting to go to the Nets.

You're telling me Williams and Howard didn't talk about that stuff over some food? They didn't talk about their future plans? That's why this is a story, despite it completely not being a story. If that makes sense.

Howard tried to downplay it though.

"Since he’s been in the league, every time he comes to town, we go eat dinner and just kick it,'' Howard said after the Magic's shootaround. "We’ve been friends since the Olympics, and so we go out to eat, have a bite.

"[Williams] wanted to be silly and joke about it, but I said 'No, this is not the time. Let’s just go eat, and then go have a good game against each other tomorrow.' That’s it," Howard said.

Williams on the other hand wasn't sure how to handle the situation. When asked, he answered, "I don't even know -- I really don't."

Understandable. I could see how you could be unsure of whether or not you had dinner with a 6-11 man with giant shoulders the night before.

If you recall though, there was quite the stink about a supposed meeting the Nets had with Howard right before the end of the lockout. The Magic reportedly were going to file tampering charges, but Howard adamently denied the report, as well as the Nets. Dinner among friends is legal though.

I guess the big question is, what did they have? If it was steaks, that's a Brooklyn thing, right? Seafood would hint towards Orlando, no? We need these details.
Posted on: December 28, 2011 1:55 pm
 

Deron Williams wants some help in New Jersey

Posted by Royce Young

This season isn't really about winning for the Nets. Because everyone knows that isn't happening. It's a lame duck season, at least until the trade deadline when New Jersey can potentially make a run at some pieces.

This season is about impressing and convincing Deron Williams that the franchise is worth staying with. He already passed on signing an extension but said that it's a "90 percent chance" he re-signs with the Nets. However, blowouts like the one New Jersey sat through against Atlanta Tuesday night are a very big part of that remaining 10 percent.

So it comes down to the Nets getting Williams some help. He knows it, general manager Billy King knows it and so does everyone on the roster. Via the New York Times, Williams said exactly that:
“We need some more pieces,” he said. “There’s no secret about that. There’s not many starters on our team right now. We have a lot of great role players, a lot of guys who know their job, but in this league you need some top-tier guys so you can get the job done.”
You might wonder if some of Williams' current teammates would feel slighted at their star making that kind of comment. He basically said, "My teammates kind of stink right now, so I need better players." But I don't think anyone on that team is going to disagree. Kris Humphries is a role guy. Same with Damion James. Same with rookie MarShon Brooks. Same with Anthony Morrow, Johan Petro, DeShawn Stevenson, some guy named Dennis Horner and Sundiata Gaines. The roster is terrible. Without Brook Lopez, it's hard ot imagine that team winning more than 10 games at this point. It really is.

We can all look up and down that New Jersey roster and see it for what it is. So can Williams. He's too good for this mess and unless the team can really make him buy into this whole "Brooklyn is the future" thing, then the Nets will have made a major investment for nothing.

Williams is too good for this. He's too good for this lame duck season of maybe getting a star and maybe not. The Nets don't really have any piece outside of Brook Lopez all that enticing because they gave it all away to get Williams. This team isn't going to win anything, not as is. Williams knows it and it's just a question of how long he'll take it.
Posted on: December 28, 2011 12:13 pm
Edited on: December 29, 2011 1:53 am
 

Report: Magic don't want to rebuild after Howard



By Matt Moore


There is a fairly established path to rebuilding. When a team is forced to start over, the way back to contention is to trade the biggest star along with a salary dump for as many young players and draft picks as possible. Then you rebuild through the draft using the picks you acquired and your own picks, which are high on account of you being terrible. This is a fairly proven formula, with the Blazers having had success before injuries wrecked them, and the Thunder currently a Finals contender with that model.

Which is why today's report from ESPN.com should be concerning for Magic's fans and is confusing for the rest of us. From ESPN:
Sources familiar with Orlando's thinking say that a picture of what the Magic will ultimately expect in return for their anchor has indeed begun to emerge, telling ESPN.com this week that Orlando would not hold out for youth and draft picks as the league-owned New Orleans Hornets were ordered to do in the Chris Paul sweepstakes. The Magic, sources say, would instead prefer to bring back multiple established veterans who can keep the team competitive.

Reason being: Orlando has moved into a new arena last season and has a 85-year-old owner in Rich De Vos. Sources say De Vos has little interest in starting over/rebuilding, as evidenced by the recent decisions to trade for Glen "Big Baby" Davis and re-sign Jason Richardson even though Howard's future is so murky.
via What will Magic want for Dwight? - TrueHoop Blog - ESPN. So the Magic are looking at that well-established path back to contention... and wanting to do the exact opposite. The problem is that the Magic would not and cannot get anything back that is comparable to Howard, so they'd be looking at either an aging star, or someone overpaid. Which means problems for the Magic in a few years when those contracts get larger and the talent isn't there. It seems like a cash grab for tickets in order to make casual fans go to games instead of really building towards a championship which perennial season ticket holders and long-term fans would want.

There are several repercussions if this report is accurate.

1. It puts the Lakers squarely in the lead for Howard. If you want established All-Star-level players, the Lakers have them. A package of Pau Gasol and Andrew Bynum, which the Lakers insist they will not send for Howard, would fit this bill exactly. Even if they won't trade those two for Howard directly, the best scenario might be to bring Houston back into talks similar to what they were working on in the vetoed Chris Paul trade. That could net the Lakers a suitable replacement for Gasol in terms of firepower, provide Orlando with an All-Star power forward (Gasol) and the Rockets a franchise center of the future. Either way, if it's stars the Magic wants, the Lakers have them.

2. It severely damages the Nets' approach. Already missing their best trade chip in Brook Lopez due to a broken bone in the foot, the Nets have reportedly been dangling as many as five first-round picks for Howard. If the Magic want legitimate players, the Nets don't have any outside of Deron Williams. Their next best chip, Kris Humphries, cannot be traded until March due to his contract. If the Magic are serious about continuing to contend for the playoffs, the Nets can kiss their chances at Howard goodbye. In related news, the Nets were wiped off the map by the Hawks last night.

3. Speaking of the Hawks, ESPN says the Hawks have made offers regarding a possible trade of Joe Johnson and Josh Smith for Howard. This would be a genius move by Atlanta, even if Howard doesn't re-commit to signing there. You make one playoff run, clear Joe Johnson's cap-killing contract, and if Howard decides to leave, you've got cap space to rebuild with behind Jeff Teague and Al Horford. The immediate question mark is if the Magic would be willing to take on Joe Johnson's contract. Remember, if the Hawks want All-Stars, they have to take on big contracts, and Johnson's a multiple-time All-Star, even if his notoriety isn't on part with that accomplishment. Also keep in mind that Otis Smith traded for Gilbert Arenas and Hedo Turkoglu last season. Big bad contracts do not scare the man. Still, the Haws are clearly on the outside of this race.

The Magic should be following the same pattern New Orleans did with the trade it actually pulled off. There's a reason the league vetoed the Chris Paul trade offer form the Lakers, and it wasn't because they all of a sudden hate their most popular team. It's because adding big contracts for lesser stars only compounds your situation and sticks you in NBA purgatory: late playoff seeds leading to first-round exits and no traction. That hurts every facet, competitiveness, ticket sales, enthusiasm, morale eventually. But if this is what the Magic want, they're in a position to wait until the trade deadline to get as much as they can. They don't want to start over, they just want to stay in the conversation.
 
 
 
 
The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or CBSSports.com