Hey there, it’s me Deron. You know, Deron the franchise player of the Brooklyn Nets who has made a name for himself as one of the NBA’s elite point guards. I guess if you don’t know me, it’s not my fault.
It’s come to my attention that not many people out there like me. I assume it’s out of jealousy because I’m a such a talented scorer and unselfish facilitator driven by a fierce desire to win. But as an two-time Olympic gold medalist and three-time NBA All-Star, I have reason to be optimistic about the future and the promise it holds, so I want to dig deeper and I am determined to make myself likable.
The first step in making myself likable is to dismantle all the arguments for not liking me, because if you don’t have a good reason to dislike the highest NBA draft pick in Illinois history, you’ll have to like me. If that doesn’t work, it’s not my fault.
My teammate Bracey Wright was a full-fledged star in school, even though I was clearly the better player. He was loved and I was ignored, for the most part. You know he only got those gaudy stats because of my passing ability, right? I vowed to improve my game completely so as to ensure I always get the attention I deserve. I now know that hatred is a form of attention, but it’s not the attention a truly unselfish person like myself deserves.
I soon starred at Illinois, but I wasn’t the center of attention like I should have been. That was Dee Brown, who was able to put up huge numbers because I unselfishly accepted an equally important role as distributor. My team was on the rise and I finally reached the Final Four my junior season, a season in which I made the All-Tournament Team, All-Big Ten First Team, won the Chicago Regional Most Outstanding Player, and was named by Coach Bruce Weber to be the MVP of my team. The success I enjoyed in the Big Ten was enough to obtain the jealousy of college recruits, college rivals, and even college teammates. I can conclude I was disliked because of my success on and off court.
I was selected in the 2005 NBA Draft third overall (in front of Chris Paul) and I quickly established myself as the best young guard in the NBA. After working very hard in Utah to achieve my great success, my front office started listening to my me more than head coach Jerry Sloan, which upset him a great deal. Coach Sloan, agitated that the Jazz higher ups prefered me to him, eventually resigned as head coach. A lot of people blamed me for Sloan’s decision, but I had absolutely nothing to do with it. I would never force Coach Sloan out of Utah. He’s meant more to Salt Lake, more to the organization than I have by far. I would have asked out of Utah first. I wanted to win more than anything, so I would never give up on such a respected coach. It wasn’t my fault he resigned.
A few weeks after Coach Sloan resigned, I was traded to the New Jersey Nets. Jazz fans were upset with me because they believed I never committed myself to the team long-term. The true irony is that they only thought that because I was so committed to the team that I was unable to think about a contract extension.
My acquisition by the Nets finally gave them a star to build around, just as the Earth was built around the Sun, the center of the universe. Though I played incredibly well with the Nets, I was only able to play a handful of games because of a wrist injury I suffered. I wanted to play through the injury, but I was outvoted by team doctors. I unselfishly followed their advice because I would never try to do anyone else’s job for them.
During the strike-shortened 2011-12 season, I lobbied for my team to trade for my dear friend Dwight Howard, who I knew well from all the All-Star games we played in and from my very successful time on Team USA where he was a teammate of mine. I’ve read quite a lot about how most people don’t like Dwight because of how his time in Orlando and Los Angeles turned out, but none of that was his fault. Trust me, I went through the same stuff. On all those articles dissing Dwight’s behavior, I always argued people through and through in the comments section on behalf of Dwight, because that’s just how unselfish I am.
Heading into the 2012-13 season, I was finally able to focus on my next contract. I signed a well-earned contract that was admittedly a pay cut. The pay cut, of course, was just another unselfish act by me being a great teammate. With Brook Lopez coming back from injury, and the Nets trading for Joe Johnson and resigning me, the 2012-13 season was supposed to be the year I would put up a championship banner in the Barclays Center.
Flustered with the pressure of drawing up a late-game offensive set, coach Avery Johnson turned to me and asked, “How would you do things differently?” Without hesitation, I drew up a play on the white board and set up a successful set, just another way I demonstrated my unselfishness. Coach Johnson was soon fired after a middling start to the season. Like with what happened in Utah with Coach Sloan, a lot of people blamed me for Johnson’s firing, but I had absolutely nothing to do with it. I would never force Coach Johnson out of Brooklyn. He’s meant more to Brooklyn, more to the organization than I have by far. I would have asked out of Brooklyn first. I wanted to win more than anything, so I would never give up on such a respected coach. It wasn’t my fault he was fired.
That concludes why I would ever be disliked, and now that I have successfully refuted all of them, I will be likable any second now.
For information on how successful, unselfish and charitable I am, visit DeronWilliams.com for more information.