During his disappointing four-year stint with the Nets, Deron Williams never fully acclimated himself with the city of New York, and failed to live up to the massive expectations that naturally came with a $99 million contract.

Williams took the brunt of the blame for the Nets’ shortcomings, but he’s found happiness since bolting from Brooklyn.

The 31-year-old point guard has shown signs in Dallas, and helped lead the Mavericks to a 104-97 win against the New York Knicks on Monday night.

Per The Record:

On Monday, a rejuvenated Williams made his return to New York scoring 20 points with seven assists for the Mavericks in a win over the Knicks. And then, he explained why it was best to move on from the Nets. […] “It just never went well,” Williams said of his time in Brooklyn. “I just felt like everybody felt I was the problem, and so now I’m gone.”

 

He failed to build a working chemistry with other core pieces like Joe Johnson and Brook Lopez — and later Kevin Garnett and Paul Pierce. And Williams’ average play was a major reason the Nets never blossomed into the championship contender they could have been. […] “I wish things were different — would have happened differently,” Williams said. “But they didn’t. Can’t dwell on it, just move forward and I think that’s what I’ve done.”

 

“He’s been playing great,” (Mark) Cuban said of Williams. “I’m glad it didn’t work out for him [in Brooklyn] and I’m glad he’s here. So it’s obvious — correlation isn’t always causation, but he’s sure playing better.” […] “He got away from New York,” (Carmelo) Anthony said. “Some people can handle it and some people can’t. He’s a guy who needed to get away from this where he can be himself and get some clarity and get back to Deron Williams that we all used to love. He’s a different D-Will than we’ve seen over the past couple of seasons,” Anthony continued. “You can tell that he has some mental clarity where he felt comfortable again.”