Deron Williams’ Contract in Turkey to Be Paid By a ‘Special Sponsor’

Besiktas head coach Ergin Ataman pooh-poohed reported instances of his team’s history of having issues paying its players, telling SI that Deron Williams’ deal — which may be worth up to $5 million — will be paid for by a mysterious team sponsor: “ Is money not an issue for your team? There have been instances in the past where players weren’t paid by your club and FIBA had to get involved. Ataman: ‘That is completely some speculation about this. Of course during the years with some agents, there was some problem about some situations, but in Besiktas club, also in football (soccer), we have a good team. We have Guti (Jose Maria Gutierrez Hernandez), we have Quaresma (Ricardo Andrade Quaresma Bernardo), we have Fernandes (Manuel Henriques Tavares Fernandes), they are the biggest names in the European soccer market. This is the same president, the same management. It’s not separated from Besiktas football and basketball. We don’t have any problems. Last year on our team … maybe sometimes there are some [checks] late — maybe one week, 10 days, maybe one month, only one time. But now, everybody can take his money. And in this situation, this is also completely different for Deron Williams because we have a special sponsor — a separate sponsor from the team. This is a different situation. This is not included in the club budget. This is a special situation, and also will be for Kobe and other star players if they come to play for Besiktas.’ Do you care to say who the sponsor is for Deron? Ataman: ‘The president has many companies, and is one of the biggest industry [men] in Turkey, so he will decide which of these companies will sponsor for these players.'”