Apparently Deron Williams Wasn't Bashing Avery Johnson

By Mike B. Ruiz
David Butler II-USA Today Sports

Deron Williams revisited an old road last night after the Brooklyn Nets pounded the Miami Heat in their final preseason game 108-87.

“It’s different,” said Williams, referring to the offense the Nets are currently running under rookie coach Jason Kidd. “You all thought I was talking about [coach] Avery [Johnson] last year, and I never said anything about Avery. The way we were playing, it’s tough to win like that. Especially against good teams, you can’t win when you’re holding the ball and going one-on-one.”

“Against the Chicago Bulls, you can’t win like that. You can’t win playing on one side of the floor because you play right into what they’re trying to do. So with this team, if we move the ball, if we share the ball, play like we did tonight, have a bunch of assists, it’s fun to play that way, and that’s the way we like to play.”

Williams was referring to a moment last December where he praised the old system he used to run in Utah under coach Jerry Sloan. His comments were followed by Johnson’s firing not long after.

Now, Williams has gone back to defending those remarks, but I just can’t buy what he’s selling.

If you’re going to speak highly of the last system you were in while you and your team are clearly struggling in the current system, of course that’s a subliminal shot at the current coach. Of course he was complaining about Johnson’s philosophy. After all, it was Johnson who coached the Nets to play that type of isolation-based offense every night. Whatever a team’s strategy is, whether it’s the offensive side or the defensive side, it’s a reflection of the coach’s teaching on the practice court and in the film room.

There’s no getting around it. And while we’re at it, try talking to your current girlfriend about how happy you were with your ex and see how well that goes over. I guarantee it won’t. At all. That’s basically what Williams did when he brought his Utah days into the picture during his struggles in the new Nets’ system.

Bottom line, though, is that all of that is well in the past. This is a very new team with a new coach. There was no need for Williams to go back down that road.

It would be best if from this point forward, he understands that it’s best to leave the past behind him.

Mike B. Ruiz is a Brooklyn Nets writer for Follow him on Twitter @mikebruiz and “Like” him on Facebook.

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