Saturday, June 15, 2013
D-Will: Nets-Knicks rivalry 'forming'
By Jared Zwerling
Deron Williams and his Nets teammates were not very truthful with the media last season regarding their rivalry with the Knicks.
It was a bigger deal than they made it out to be -- and D-Will knows looking ahead to next season, it will only grow.
"When the reporters are asking us, 'Is it a big deal?', I think we all kind of shrug it off," he said during a Nike House of Hoops event in Brooklyn. "But you can tell, the energy from those four games this season were probably more intense than any other four games we played in.
Deron Williams is excited to play for Jason Kidd, who was his favorite player growing up.
"Even when we won or when the Knicks won, the way they celebrated wasn't how you would celebrate after a normal win. It definitely means much more. It's not really a rivalry yet, but I think it's forming, and as we get better and as the Knicks get better, I think it'll be a rivalry for years to come."
Jason Kidd crossing the river will only contribute to the growth of the rivalry. Williams said he's "definitely happy" with his new head coach.
"I'm from Dallas and Jason Kidd got drafted to the Dallas Mavericks. He was my favorite player growing up," he said. "I had a chance to play against my favorite player, play with him on the Olympic team and win a gold medal, and now I get a chance to be coached by him.
"So it's going to be a great experience for me to get to learn from him and to develop under him. I think it's going to be great for our team as well. We can kind of grow together. I think all of us are a little upset with how the loss to the Bulls went, and we look forward to getting back out on the court already."
Spike Lee, who was also on hand for the event, was complimentary of Kidd's move. But he stopped there. Lee's allegiance is still, and will always be, with the Knicks. And he made sure he got that across to the hundreds of fans who showed up.
"I have all the love in the world for the Nets and new coach Jason Kidd, but I'm a Knicks fan," he said. "That's it."
Lee even predicted that the Knicks and Nets would face off next season in the Eastern Conference finals.
"That would be nice," Williams said. "I like it."
Brooklyn style: Since being in Brooklyn, Williams has been impressed by how visible the game is in the area.
"Once I got to Brooklyn and became a member of the Nets, you can just see the love of the game in this community, and you can see it growing since we moved over here," he said. "Just driving around, it seems like every block has a park and there are people outside playing, especially when the weather gets nice."
Not only was the weather nice on Saturday -- around 80 degrees -- but Williams also gave the attendees a good feeling with his outlook for 2013-14.
"I'm motivated anyways, just because of how last season went," he said. "It was a frustrating season for me because I had to deal with a lot of injuries, and it took me awhile to get right and get healthy. So I'm just looking forward to this season."