Brooklyn Nets point guard Deron Williams’ interview with Michael Kay on YES Network’s “CenterStage” will air at 10 p.m. ET Wednesday, immediately following the Nets-Cavs postgame show.
Some of the highlights:
• When asked where a championship parade would be held if Brooklyn won the title this season, Williams said, “It’s gotta be in Brooklyn. Don’t even ask. It would be in Brooklyn. It’s gotta be, we got Brooklyn on our chests. You got to. I think we’ll touch a little bit in Manhattan, I don’t know.”
• Williams said he felt he “arrived” when he first played against Jason Kidd, now his coach. It was Nov. 9, 2005. The Nets won 91-83. Kidd went 11-9 in his career against Williams. “I remember my first time playing against him, it was like, kind of my, you know, ‘I’m here’ moment. I think I was on the free throw line, or, somebody was shooting a free throw, and I think he came up and stood by me and said something to me. And it’s just like, dang, you know, I’m in the NBA. You know, and I’m playing against my idol. So, it was cool.”
Williams wanted to play college ball at North Carolina. But the Tar Heels wanted Raymond Felton instead. “I wanted to go to North Carolina growing up. That was my dream school. I was just a North Carolina guy. My mom was a North Carolina fan as well. They didn’t recruit me. They recruited Raymond Felton. They told me if Raymond didn’t commit there that they would, you know, recruit me. But I think it was known that Ray was going to go there. You know, he was top three player, I was like, you know, somewhere around 40.”
Williams’ primary sport growing up was wrestling. His mom wouldn’t let him quit. “[Wrestling] was my first sport. I was probably four, and my mom came up to me and was like, ‘Do you want to wrestle?’ I don’t know. My uncle, he wrestled in college. So, that might be where it came from. He might’ve said something to her or something. And I was like, ‘sure.’ And, I didn’t really know what I was getting myself into. The first two years I wrestled, I would be crying before the match, like, bawling because I didn’t want to get out there. And she would like, drag me on the mat, throw me on the mat. And I would wrestle and then leave. And I’m talking about every match. But she would not let me quit.”
Growing up, Williams played on a court with a swamp behind one of its baskets. “So it was, I mean, it was a tiny court, anyways. You could play, like, three on three on it. Like, the basket was behind where the cement ended. And so like, if you hit shots sometimes, it would go through, hit the edge, and just take off [into the swamp]. We did paper, rock, scissors, to see who went down there.”