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The Brooklyn Nets have lost eight of their last 10 games, and a lot of the blame is falling on Deron Williams, who signed a $100-million contract to be the centrepiece of the team this summer.The fieriest criticism yet came from Dave D’Alessandro of the Newark Star-Ledger. In an epic column today, he wrote that Williams isn’t working had enough, hasn’t taken responsibility, and carries himself with a sense of entitlement.
Here’s how the column starts, just to get a sense of the tone:
“Good morning, Deron Williams.
“Thanks for coming, have a seat.”
Earlier in the week, Williams said he much preferred the offensive system in Utah under legendary coach Jerry Sloan (who retired before Williams was traded) than the one Avery Johnson is running in Brooklyn now. D’Alessandro blasted him for it:
“We heard you blame your troubles on coach Avery Johnson, and pine for the days when that wise old crank in Utah ran stuff that was better suited to your individual skills.
“Trust us: The national response was raucous laughter, because you were the guy responsible for getting Jerry Sloan to decide after 27 years that he’d rather live with his 30 tractors in McLeansboro, Ill., than put up with your insubordination.”
He said that Williams acts entitled:
“Because with the exception of one guy in San Antonio, no player should have this kind of entitlement. Not even LeBron James, who once prided himself on his ability to hold a franchise hostage, would presume to have this kind of influence.”
Finally, D’Alessandro wrote that Williams isn’t doing enough to break out of an awful shooting slump:
“Then we noticed that your warm-up last night consisted of about 60 shots in 10 minutes. Sure, it’s the second night of a back-to-back. But 60 shots for a guy shooting .389 and .292 from 3? A guy who has shot .396 since he left Utah?”
The Nets lost to the Knicks 100-86 last night. Williams’ numbers are down across the board this year, and the team is out to a disappointing 13-12 start.
The Nets were rolling along fine until Brook Lopez went down with a foot injury. They are also an entirely new team that has only played together for a little over a month. So there is reason to believe Williams will get better as he learns how to play with his new teammates.
But still, he has been mediocre enough to elicit this kind of brutal stuff from D’Alessandro.