Welcome back to the Association. That is, the National Basketball Association. After a summer lay-off, and after much buzz about trades and free agent acquisitions, as well as an undefeated pre-season, (first in franchise history), there is much to be excited about. With the tip-off of the Utah Jazz’s season tonight in Denver comes a heightened sense of anticipation that has been lacking on “The Front” for a few years. Even with the last few years having high expectations, you really knew deep down that it would end in the playoffs against the length of the Lakers. As talented as the Jazz were, and as good of a lineup as they had, they were fundamentally flawed in two areas. Length & Toughness. With the pick up of Al-B-J (my nickname for Al Jefferson) and the signing of Raja Bell, Earl Watson, and Fransisco Elson, the Jazz have aquired exactly the two things they were lacking. Length & Toughness. But all the hooplah aside, what is it that really makes this team exciting? One word, Two syllables. D-Will. Many in the league believe Deron has made it to the top of the point guard status. Other than maybe Baby McGrady, (how do you say his name, Derin, Deraun, Deyron? Please.), everybody knows who he is and how to say his name. He is the hope of the franchise. The engine that drives the team. And so, when I read this article by Brian T. Smith at the Trib, I felt like it was a must share.
During the loudest and most hyped offseason in NBA history, Jazz point guard Deron Williams maintained absolute silence. No private whining or public threats. No elaborate televised platform to discuss his desires, or veiled references relayed through mysterious sources and then published on the Internet about his need for change and longing to leave.
Highly polished stars such as LeBron James, Dwayne Wade, Chris Bosh, Chris Paul and Carmelo Anthony stood on the mountaintop they spent years climbing and then preached loudly.
Williams? He stayed quiet and polished his game.
But just because the 6-foot-3, 209-pound former Illinois standout kept his lips sealed does not mean it is status quo in Salt Lake City. The departures of Carlos Boozer, Wesley Matthews and Kyle Korver forced Utah to add veteran depth and rely on unproven youth at the same time. And while the addition of Al Jefferson could soon create a name that will rival Boozer’s in Williams’ pick-and-roll legacy, the All-Star guard who serves as the indisputable face of a small-market franchise is about to embark on the second stage of his promising but still-to-be-determined career.
“It’s going to be a different team for us this year,” Williams, 26, said. “Things aren’t going to come as easy as they have in the past. It’s part of my job to keep the team together and keep the team focused.” Continue the article…..
And so, as a preview to get you all excited for tonight’s game against the Thuggets, here are a few of my favorite clips of Deron. Go Jazz. Enjoy.
Bonus vid. New Nike commercial for Lebron. What should I do? …….shut up and play.