Thursday, July 7, 2011

Deron Williams To Play In Turkey

(NYT) Deron Williams, the Net's star point guard and one of the N.B.A.'s premier players, has an agreement to play in Turkey during the lockout. The news of Williams’s agreement was first reported by a Turkish television station, NTV Spor, and later confirmed by

For the past few weeks I've tried to play it cool when it came to the impending, and now current, N.B.A. lockout. Not really talking about it too much, coming up with generic, positive, answers whenever someone asked me what I thought about it. Surely there was no way the league would allow this to go as far as to miss games? Especially not after they just came off their most intriguing season since the Jordan era.

But with news today of Net's star point guard Deron Williams signing with the Besiktas, the same Turkish team that briefly employed Allen Iverson last year, the prospect of basketball next season appears more and more bleak.

With Williams agreement to play overseas (a contract that he can get out of, should the N.B.A. resume play at any point next season) we may see a mass exodus to the other side of the pond from some our our nation's biggest stars. Zaza Pachulia (granted he's not a "star") has already agreed to play for Besiktas and coach Ergin Ataman said he is going to reach out to Kobe Bryant as well (fat chance).

Regardless of if Deron Williams ever suits up for Turkey (their season starts Sept. 27) the league has already lost a great deal of credibility and respect from the fans. Nets fans (be they few and far between) shouldn't have to go through the agony of watching the guy who was brought in to resurrect their franchise, playing in a foreign country, entertaining their fans, and risking injury night in and night out.

This could be a big story, or it could be a non story. It all depends on just how stubborn/reasonable a few men chose to be. It's my hope that the next time I write about the lockout, it's me breaking down the new deal, explaining how the new collective bargaining agreement plays out.

Regardless though, it will always sting a little bit seeing American players leave American soil to play the American game elsewhere.


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