That’s what Deron Williams has been doing so far overseas, he’s been performing at an extremely low level on the European basketball court.
In the last two games, Williams is 6 for 28 from the floor and had six turnovers last time out specifically. In that most recent game he helped his Bestikas team in Turkey, that paid him a whole ton of jack to join the squad, get eliminated in the early rounds of the EuroCup.
They could’ve done that without Deron Williams, I’m guessing. Since they did it with him though, I imagine there’s some Turks who are pretty fired up about how this whole thing is going so far. There might even be a couple people who feel hoodwinked, bamboozled, or even swindled.
This is what Pro Basketball Talk said earlier on the subject:
The man the Nets are talking about building around is getting bumped around, reports the New York Times. The physical play allowed in Europe seems to throw Williams off his game.
Asked if he was still adjusting to the European game, Williams said: “I mean, I’ve played in a lot of European basketball. I’ve played in the Olympics. But this is definitely different. The way the reffing has been going has been different for me, but I’ve got to adjust.”
Williams also looks out of shape, tweeted Jonathan Givony of Draft Express, something echoed by others watching the feed of the game.
It is all something that should concern Nets fans. It in no way is time to panic — he’s playing his way into shape and getting his skills sharp just being out on the court — but it’s something to watch. After playing through injuries last season and missing the end of the year, Williams is still trying to find his groove.
To be fair to Williams, he definitely is playing his way back from an injury and it’s also certainly an adjustment to the overseas game as well. That said, I don’t think the Bestikas brain-trust envisioned paying Williams what they did in order to allow him the opportunity to play himself back into NBA shape – just in time for the Lockout to end. They probably feel a little bit taken, maybe.
As far as the way the game is called over there, I’ll go ahead and give Williams a break on the six turnovers he had last game. Guys are probably allowed more hands defensively over there then he’s used too, and they also know there is no way they can stay in front of him, so defenders are probably pushing the limits of an already physical game and making things difficult on him in that sense. Think barrelling into him and just taking the ball, called a turnover, which is not necessarily on Williams. But as far as the 3 of 15 from the floor goes, following a 3 of 13 game prior to that? Yikes.
This really shouldn’t be about Deron Williams though. Let this experience be a lesson to all these foreign clubs that are in pursuit of signing guys like Deron Williams – NBA stars – thinking they’re about to go as hard as they would in an NBA Playoff game for their European team. They won’t, and maybe – just maybe – all they’re looking for is the opportunity to grab as much money as they can while the NBA is temporarily closed. Meaning, they don’t really care if they suck and they lose because nobody in America – where they’re from – really cares about Turkish Basketball, for example.