D-Will: 'Of course we want to run New York'
September, 14, 2013
By Ian Begley | ESPNNewYork.com
Brad Penner/USA TODAY SportsDeron Williams says he's ready to lead the Nets to Big Apple bragging rights.NEW YORK -- Deron Williams has entered the fray -- sort of.
Asked about teammate Paul Pierce's assertion that the Nets will eventually take ownership of New York from the Knicks, Williams told ESPNNewYork.com, "That's my teammate so I'm with him. Of course we want to run New York. The Knicks are our rival. I don't get into too much of the talking. We'll decide all that on the court. We have four games to play against them and then the playoffs so I'll let Paul do the talking and I'll just go out there and play."
The Knicks and Nets have engaged in a war of words ever since Nets forward Pierce told ESPN New York 98.7 FM in August, "I think it's time for the Nets to start running this city."
That sparked responses from Raymond Felton and J.R. Smith, who called Pierce "bitter" and added that there "will be consequences" for his words.
The Knicks and Nets will meet four times in the regular season.
Brooklyn will bring a revamped roster to the East River Rivalry this year. The Nets traded for Pierce, Kevin Garnett and Jason Terry and hired Jason Kidd as head coach.
Brooklyn is a veteran-laden team that likely won't be together for more than two seasons. Williams acknowledged as much.
"Our time is now," he said. "We have a short window to try to win."
LENDING A HAND: Growing up in Texas, Williams had a basketball court in his apartment complex and another court in the community recreation center less than a mile from his house.
He'd play constantly on both courts, developing and nurturing the talent that would eventually lead him to the NBA.
"The courts were so close, it just made you want to play basketball," Williams said. "That definitely helped me develop as a young player."
Now that he's a Brooklyn Net, Williams wants to give the same opportunity to kids in the borough.
For the second straight season, Williams has partnered with the Nets, Red Bull and the New York City Department of Parks & Recreation on the "Brooklyn's Got Wings" program to help refurbish local basketball courts.
Last season, Red Bull donated $150 for each of Williams' 663 assists (totaling $99,450) to refurbish two basketball courts near the Barclays Center.
The Albert J. Parham Playground courts in Fort Greene and Nicholas Naquan Heyward Jr. Park in Boerum Hill were renovated thanks to last year's donation.
Refurbishments included new playing surfaces, backboards, rims, fencing, court barriers and draining systems.
"It was a great way for us to give back," Williams said. "This community supports us so in turn we need to support the community."