Tuesday, November 29, 2011
Updated: November 30, 3:33 PM ET
Besiktas retires Deron Williams' jersey
By Mike Mazzeo
Besiktas retired Deron Williams' No. 8 jersey as part of a farewell ceremony prior to Tuesday's game.
Williams played about a month-and-a-half with the Turkish League after signing a contract with Besiktas in July. But with the 149-day NBA lockout over and training camp slated to begin on Dec. 9, Williams will be returning to New Jersey and rejoining the Nets for the start of the shortened 2011-12 season.
"Amazing Besiktas jersey retirement ceremony before tonight's game," Williams tweeted, along with a video of the ceremony, which was posted on YouTube.
"Just had a great time with the fans for the last time at Besiktas Milingaz! Arena taking the team out for dinner! I'm going to miss them ..."
Williams didn't play in Tuesday's game. But he recently scored 50 points for Besiktas -- the first time he scored that many points in a game at any level of basketball.
"The best part about the game was how the fans really got into it," Williams told ESPN NewYork.com. "You could tell that once I had 40 with like three minutes left they were counting. Every time I would score, you could see the excitement in the gym. You could tell they wanted me to get 50.
"My teammates were into it too. Every time I came to the bench, my teammate Mehmet 'Memo' Yagmur was like, 'six more,' then 'four more,' and 'two more.'"
Williams said his surgically repaired right shooting wrist is feeling much better. His health was certainly a concern heading into the offseason.
"I don't want to jinx myself -- knock on wood -- but my wrist is so much better from where it was the last year and a half," Williams said.
"It was just so frustrating to me because I was told that all I needed to do was rest it, and when I did that, it never got better. I'm happy I had the surgery when I did, so now I don't have to worry about it and that's allowed me to play my game."
According to eurobasket.com, Williams averaged 19.7 points and 6.4 assists per game while overseas.
The star point guard became the first major NBA star to ink a deal with a professional club overseas as a result of the lockout.
Once he returns to the United States, speculation about Williams' future will begin to swirl. He's under contract for this season, but can opt out of the final one-year and $17.8 million of his deal prior to the start of the 2012-13 campaign.
Mike Mazzeo is a regular contributor to ESPNNewYork.com.