A few years ago with the Utah Jazz, Deron Williams was arguably the best point guard in the game. His name was always mentioned with the best players in the NBA. Since an unceremonious exit from Utah and a trade to the Nets, he’s had a rough few years in New Jersey and Brooklyn before signing a two-year, $10 million deal with the Mavericks this summer.
Where did it all go wrong? If you ask former Jazz team physician Dr. Lyle Mason, D-Will was a friendly guy but “decided he didn’t need coaching” from, among others, Jerry Sloan. From Salt City Hoops:
Deron, when he came, was a guy who was a very skilled player, and the coaches looked at him and Chris Paul—we could have taken either one—I think Jerry decided on Deron because of his size, strength, and his durability. They thought he might be just a little bit better than Chris, although they liked both players, and then when he started playing, he was an outstanding player. BUT, the personality conflict grew between him and the coach, and eventually it became impossible for the two of them to stay. When the coach quit, management still decided that it was best if he went somewhere else.
Deron was the opposite of Stockton: Deron could not handle the coach calling any plays. He wanted to call every play. I’ll never understand why that was such a big deal, that if the coach called one play, he was going to run another one, which he always did. And that was part of what really drove them apart, was that Deron just decided he didn’t need coaching, and Jerry obviously thought otherwise.
H/T: CBS Sports