Deron Williams: NBA Fans More Disruptive Than Fans in Europe

DWill’s adventure in Turkey will soon come to an end (though he says he may play there again someday.) Williams explains what he sees as the difference between hoop fans in Europe and those in NBA arenas. From ESPN: “We had our biggest win to date earlier this month against Fenerbahce. That was for our fans. It was really great to beat them. From the time I got here, people have been telling us about the rivalries with Fenerbahce and Galatasaray. Those are the two big ones. When you are talking to people who are true Besiktas fans, they could care less how the rest of the season goes, as long as we beat those two teams. So when we played Fenerbahce, it was a really strange setup. We played in their home gym, but it was a home game for us and their fans weren’t allowed in the gym. So we had 11,000 of our fans in there cheering us on. It was the most fans ever at a Besiktas game by like 9,000 people. It wasn’t even close. The atmosphere was great, and the fans were amazing and incredibly supportive. They made us feel it because they wanted that game really bad. When we were playing against Fenerbahce, the fans were chanting something I couldn’t understand. I was a little curious about what they were saying, so I asked around. Let’s just say I can’t share that content in this forum. What’s funny is even when we’re not playing Fenerbahce, you can hear a lot of chants directed at them. That’s how big the rivalry is. We’re talking about fútbol fans for the most part, so they cheer, and they cheer loudly for the whole game. That’s how you do it at a fútbol game. It was definitely an adjustment because they’re cheering no matter what you’re doing. You can be shooting free throws, playing defense, setting up a play, and they’re just constantly cheering and chanting. But at this point, I’ve adjusted and it’s normal to me. I will say that the chanting doesn’t have the same effect on your psyche as an NBA crowd because the fans here are up all of the time. In the NBA, when a team goes on a run and the crowd just erupts, that has a bigger effect on a player’s psyche.”