A day after Carmelo Anthony finally went to the Knicks, finally, the Nets countered by acquiring all-star point guard Deron Williams. However, in stark contrast to the Nets’ euphoria, Williams received the news of the trade with what he could only describe as “unadulterated sadness and despair.”
Williams, who still swears he did nothing wrong, was simply told by the Jazz to pack up his things and “find out how to get to New Jersey, then do it.” “They couldn’t even look me in the eye,” he lamented.
The Nets’, unsurprisingly, are thrilled to have Deron on the team. Gushing with excitement, Nets GM Billy King confessed that he was both surprised and emotional when the Jazz front office assured him that Deron “really wants to come,” “can’t wait,” and “has been talking about it all week.” King went as far as to make a schedule outlining all the things he and Deron could to together when he came to New Jersey.
Williams’ future teammates have also gotten caught up in the excitement. In hopes of impressing Deron the team has been working extra hard to run a working layup line (the players have gone 4 minutes without missing a layup, tripping, or forgetting their respective assignments), hanging up Deron Williams posters throughout the clubhouse, and memorizing his Wikipedia page. As early as the Monday before the trade deadline the team organized a players vs. coaches trivia game where their knowledge of Deron’s career highs, statistics, early life, and pop-culture references was put to the test.
Most importantly, the notion that Williams will make them better players has gotten this Net roster giddy with anticipation. “The prospect of Deron bouncing me a bounce pass in the middle of a real game, and then me going up for a shot, or then me bouncing the ball back to Deron, if that’s what he wants, it’s tremendously exciting” said Caucasian forward Kris Humphries. Unfortunately, Williams does not share this sentiment.
With his Cadillac packed to the brim with personal belongings and relics from an earlier, happier life, Deron made his way down the Turnpike to his new home in Newark, New Jersey. Forced to get directions from a local gas station as the Prudential Center did not show up on GPS or Google Maps, Williams arrived an hour late to his own welcome party. Regardless, the entire Nets organization was there to greet him with unconditional love and unwavering admiration. Misguided but well-meaning, the team threw rice at his car and sang songs about Mormons. Team majority owner Mikhail Prokhorov then presented Williams with a collage he made earlier that day featuring magazine cutouts of basketballs, smiley faces, vodka ads, the Rocky Mountains for some reason, and of course, Deron Williams himself. Williams feigned a smile as he held his new Nets jersey up for the cameras and for the legions of Net fans all over the world.
Days later the rice has settled and reality has set in as Deron has made it clear he is unsure whether or not he will re-sign with the Nets next season. With this the atmosphere throughout the organization can best be described as awkward and emotionally-trying for both parties. Prokhorov has threatened to rip up the “second and better collage” he has been working on while Anthony Morrow refuses to come out of his room for supper. Even with Deron leading the best layup lines the Nets have seen yet, a bittersweet cloud of uncertainty hangs over the cloud of pollution that hangs over Newark.
“Last time this organization got its hopes up we lost to the Lakers in the Finals, plunging us into a deep, irrevocable darkness for the ensuing decade,” notes a Nets’ employee who preferred to remain anonymous. “There is the prevalent feeling that if we get too attached to Deron and he leaves we will sink even farther into this chasm of hopelessness.” He continued by considering what might lie in these unknown depths; demons, dementors from the popular children’s series Harry Potter, Satan’s unborn children, and perhaps even fear itself.
While one can not tell what the future holds for Deron and the Nets, the immediate effects of his arrival can be celebrated. The Nets have managed to lose just both of their games since the trade deadline and season ticket sales are up 61% as Deron’s own mother has purchased an impractical number of personal seat licenses.