Jeff Van Gundy Questions Deron Williams Leadership/Commitment

Brooklyn Nets fans are well aware that the captain of the team is Deron Williams and that he is the face of the franchise as well as their leader. With that monicker comes expectations and responsibilities that are greater than they were prior so adjustments need to be made to continue to succeed. Has Williams done enough to this point to lead the Nets?

What did Jeff Van Gundy think of Deron Williams and his efforts before and during the telecast last night on ESPN?

Dave D’Alessandro/Star-Ledger Columnist

Everyone knows the power you brandish in Brooklyn, and they have no choice but to enable it. But now they wonder whether you’ll understand that it comes with responsibility.

Consider that locker room you whined about last season. You were the captain. What did you do about it, other than complain?

Funny thing: Back then, whenever someone said “best PG,” you automatically thought Chris Paul and D-Will — zero debate. Now, Derrick Rose, Kyrie Irving and Rajon Rondo reside at the top of that list, and Deron Williams barely cracks the top 10.

“You could easily argue that Raymond Felton is having a better year than Deron,” a former D-3 point guard named Jeff Van Gundy said before this game last night.

Then the ESPN analyst said this: “I’m trying to figure out how this guy, who was among the very best point guards, is shooting the ball so poorly — and it’s not just this year.

“I mean, does he work at it? For all we’ve heard lately from him by way of explanations, eventually shouldn’t you look in the mirror?”Avery Johnson talking to deron Williams

Van Gundy mentioned that he asked you whether being on poor teams affected how you work, and you replied, “No.” You know where that was going: JVG’s favorite work-ethic cautionary tale is about Derek Harper arriving in New York in ’94, and needing Pat Riley to “coach the Dallas out of him.”

Anyway, you told Van Gundy that no such lag exists with you — that the 25-42 on your Nets record does not affect your prep in any way. And he believed you.

Then we noticed that your warm-up tonight 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?

For the leader of a team that has gone 2-8 this month, including this 100-86 loss at the Garden, with the only victories coming against the Pistons and Raptors?
Hope it was a constructive shootaround, young fella.

John Paolantonio

I have to agree here with Van Gundy’s assessments of what he is seeing with Williams. We all have heard straight from Deron’s mouth during this horribly played month of December is how poorly he admits he is playing for this reason or that.

If your shot is off that bad that you are shooting a career low 39 percent from the field then don’t you think it would take more than 60 shots in ten minutes in the pregame to correct it?

I am not saying that Williams does not put in enough effort/shots outside of the viewing public when the cameras aren’t on but I do know that Ray Allen, one of the greatest shooters of all-time, probably shoots 300 jumpers before every game to be ready when called upon to drain the big shots. This routine happens every single game for Allen for the last 16 years and it sure looks like it has helped his shooting percentages.

When you become the face of a franchise, let alone the face on a brand new team in a new city, more is expected of you in many categories and one is leadership and another is accountability for your play and your “teams” play. I am not so sure, at this point in time, that Deron Williams quite understands how important he really is needed in both areas and how much more effort he needs to put forth to carry this franchise to another level.




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