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Saturday, August 27, 2011
Deron Williams: Wrist not 100 percent

By Mike Mazzeo
Special to ESPNNewYork.com

New Jersey Nets point guard Deron Williams told the Salt Lake Tribune Saturday that his surgically repaired right wrist still isn't fully healthy at this point.

"I wouldn't say 100 percent," Williams told the newspaper. "I've still got some strengthening and breaking up scar tissue. That's the process with any surgery."

Williams underwent surgery in April to remove three bone fragments and scar tissue from his right wrist, which he originally hurt while he was playing with the Utah Jazz in late January. At the time, his recovery was supposed to take approximately six to eight weeks.

Still, Williams plans on playing professionally in Turkey during the NBA lockout.

"I'm excited," Williams told the newspaper. "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."

Williams said he's "sick of hearing why am I going to Turkey? Or when am I going, or when am I coming back?"

He added, "So hopefully when I go over there I won't hear those questions anymore, because it's every day."

Williams told ESPNChicago.com on Aug. 1 that he's "supposed to be (in Turkey) on Sept. 1."

He signed to play with Besiktas over in the Turkish basketball league in early July.

Williams said he's not scared about playing in Turkey. ESPN.com's Rick Reilly wrote a column earlier this week examining the potential dangers of playing there, which included unruly fan behavior and unstable ownership.

"That doesn't scare me. I saw that Rick Reilly interview -- that doesn't scare me," Williams said. "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."

Williams believes Besiktas will be a strong contender this season, even though they won't have Kobe Bryant. It was rumored that the club would try to sign Bryant and play him in the same backcourt with Williams, but that dream scenario never came to fruition.

"David Hawkins, I played with him in the preseason -- he's over there," Williams said. "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."

Williams, however, said he's frustrated over the lockout, which threatens to cancel the entire 2011-12 season.

"Yeah, it's definitely frustrating," Williams said. "Because we want to play and we want to have the season but it's not looking too good right now."

Williams said he hasn't really been "stressing" about the lockout because "ultimately you have no control."

"You can go to all the meetings you want. I went to two of them," Williams said. "Nothing came of the meetings. Or, there was stuff said but then nothing happens after that. You can't just sit and be concerned about it."

Williams said he still gets negative reactions on Twitter from Jazz fans calling him "Coach Killer and all type of stuff."

Many felt it was Williams' rocky relationship and confrontation with former coach Jerry Sloan that led to Sloan's Feb. 9 retirement and the blockbuster trade two weeks later that jettisoned Williams from Utah to New Jersey.

"There's more positive people than negative people," Williams said. "I got 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."

Mike Mazzeo is a regular contributor to ESPNNewYork.com.