Interview — Deron Williams on Turkey, charity, Jimmer, 'Coach Killer,' moving back to Utah
Excerpts from a media interview Saturday with New Jersey guard Deron Williams in Lehi, Utah.
Williams on playing in Turkey: I'm excited. I think it'll be exciting to go over there and play basketball, for one, while everybody else isn't. It'll just be an exciting time for my family. See a new culture.
Lockout being frustrating: Yeah, it's definitely frustrating. Because we want to play and we want to have the season but it's not looking too good right now.
Keeping the dodgeball charity tradition going despite no longer playing for Jazz: It's good. This will probably be our last time here, doing it in Salt Lake. We're going to probably move it to Chicago; we talked about that just because [Kyle Korver] has ties there and I have ties there as well. We feel like it could be a bigger event there. We did have about 25 times less teams this year than we did last year.
Having Wesley Matthew and C.J. Miles show up: I don't like either one of those guys. [Laughs] I just appreciate them coming out, man. Flying out for the event. It means a lot to me. It's good to see those guys and get a chance to work out with them.
Jazz reunion: We all worked out together the other day and played. [Ronnie Price] was there. Paul [Millsap] was there. It was just fun to be around the guys and hang out.
Miles' improved conditioning: He looks good, man. I've been keeping in touch with him the all summer. Everytime I call him he's working out or sleeping. [Laughs]
Ready to get to Turkey: Yeah, I'm just sick of hearing about why am I going to Turkey? Or when am I going, or when am I coming back? So hopefully when I get over there I won't hear those questions anymore, because it's everyday.
Europe horror stories: That doesn't scare me. I saw that Rick Reilly interview — that doesn't scare me. I don't think my situation is going to be similar to some of those guys' situations, for one. I've met the president, I've met the GM, I've met a lot of the guys in the organization. They're pretty much pulling out all of the stops for me. … I talked to [Mehmet Okur] about it, he's probably going to be over there part of the time while I'm over there, so that'll be good. Ninety-five percent of the people I've talked to about Turkey have good things to say about Turkey.
OK with Kobe Bryant not joining the team; being a one-man show: Oh, yeah. David Hawkins, I played with him in preseason one year — he's over there. You got Zaza [Pachulia]. We should be good. That's three good players and I'm sure they've got some good players as well. I'm fine with that.
Crazy year — trade, baby, Turkey: Yeah, I've been all over the place. So I might as well just keep it going. Keep the chaos going, why not? Go with the flow.
Jazz fans' reaction: There's more positive people than negative people. I get guys on Twitter that are still angry with me. Call me 'Coach Killer' and all type of stuff. That's going to happen everywhere you go. No matter where you go you're going to have people that hate you, people that love you.
100-percent health, wrist: Yeah, yeah. I wouldn't say 100 percent. I've still got to do some strengthening and breaking up scar tissue. I think that's a process with any surgery.
Lockout: … You can't just sit and stress out about the lockout because ultimately you have no control. You can go to all the meetings you want. I went to two of them. Nothing was said in the meetings. Or, there was stuff said but then nothing happens after that. You can't just sit and be concerned about it.
Recently irking out at the University of Utah and coach Larry Krystkowiak opening up the Utes' gym: It was great. I appreciate that. I played for him for a little bit so he owes me about three weeks. I helped him get the job. [Laughs] I appreciate that, man. It's tough at times to find gyms; it's not that easy. I've been working out at high schools or wherever I can; Boys & Girls Clubs. Some guys are just going to wherever they can hoop.
Remaining ties to Utah: I'm in San Diego most of the time. We've come back a couple times this summer. I'll probably end up buying a house when I'm done. Somewhere in Utah; probably Park City. I love Utah. I just can't stay somewhere year-round. That's why I end up moving in the summer. You've got to get away sometimes.
Golf: … I tweeted [Jimmer Fredette] and texted him. He big-timed me. He didn't call me back. I said, 'Do you want to come play and be on my team?' Jimmer big-timed me, man. … But I saw he got engaged, so he had some big things on his plate.
Brian T. Smith
© Copyright 2014 The Salt Lake Tribune. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.