Back in August, Sports Illustrated told a story about Kobe watching Deron Williams go 0-9 against the Heat and saying “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.”
This weekend, the Nets point guard responded, via The Brooklyn Game:
“If I’m 0-for-f–king-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.”
“I don’t really care (what people say),” Williams said, half-joking. “I don’t read the papers for a reason. I read the Daily News, I stop right when I get to the sports section.”
Williams’ coach Lionel Hollins also defended his point guard.
“If we’re going 3-for-23 from the 3-point line, then I got a problem. We’re going to try to do something else. I understand Kobe and all those guys, ‘I’m going to do this, the next shot is going in.’ That’s great confidence but it doesn’t matter if you don’t make the next shot.”
“I just want Deron to play good basketball,” he added. “There are a lot of expectations on him. I don’t know the reasons why – the status he had when he was playing here, the contract. Whatever it may be, Deron Williams is a very good basketball player and Deron Williams is going to prove that this year with this team. And you guys are going to love him. Or respect him.”
Deron also talked about being healthy and his not so memorable dunk last season.
“I’m healthy, man,” Williams said. “When you can walk, you can run, it feels pretty good. … You can’t attack the rim when you can’t jump. You probably jumped higher than me last year,” he said to an unathletic reporter. “There’s a reason I had one dunk on the year, and I don’t know if it even counts as a dunk.”