Earlier this month, Deron Williams was featured in a magazine article and talked about how he preferred both Utah and Dallas to New York. It wasn’t the most inflammatory statements, and it mostly sounded like he was trying to make a bad joke, but it definitely came off as at least a little anti-New York. Or at least some people took it that way.
Now, D-Will is backtracking a little bit after receiving some heat from those statements.
“It’s just a different lifestyle here,” Williams told FOX’s “GoodDay New York” on Wednesday (via ESPNNewYork.com). “That’s all I was pointing out. I enjoy my time in the summers away, but I definitely love it in New York. You know, I signed here for five years.”
Here is what D-Will initially told Resident Magazine:
“I’m not going to lie,” said Williams. “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…? I don’t think so.”
When the magazine asked him what it means to be a New Yorker, he said:
“Taking the subway, which, by the way, I love to take,” he said. “Yes, of course I have a chauffeured car, but the subway is way faster. Second thing is the New York/Brooklyn accent — which I don’t have. Third thing is New Yorkers are tough. Or at least they think they are.”
I don’t think what he said was so bad, many of my own friends and family members have said worse things about New York City, but I do think it shows his true distaste for New York. Obviously, he doesn’t dislike it that badly as, like he said, he did sign here. It’s not as if he did the Brooklyn Nets some huge favor, though, as they are paying him quite handsomely, $98 million, to play here.
Like I wrote the first time around, it’s hard to completely blame him. He’s from a much different part of the country. New York has exactly zero things in common with Utah and he’s only been playing here for two seasons. It probably takes a lot longer than that to get used to the tempo here.
As for his ‘New Yorkers think they’re tough’ statement — he’s probably just tired of fans on the streets reminding him that he’s struggled in each of the last two years while collecting a max salary. The problem is that New Yorkers expect players leading the team in payroll to, you know, lead the team on the court as well. Once he starts doing that then the two sides will start to get along much better (if that’s even possible).