Posted by Ben Golliver.
It took us all awhile to digest what the heck they were up to, but Turkish basketball club Besiktas has emerged as the NBA lockout's winner for most hilariously random.
Besiktas wasted no time this summer, signing New Jersey Nets All-Star point guard Deron Williams to a multi-million dollar contract and then trying to leverage that into pursuits of seemingly dozens of NBA players, including Los Angeles Lakers All-Star guard Kobe Bryant. In the end, the NBA and its players reached a tentative deal on a new collective bargaining agreement before Besiktas was able to team Williams with another star.
Keep in mind, Besiktas isn't even competing in the Euroleague, so all Besiktas really had to gain was Turkish league dominance and a ton of international publicity. No matter, Williams led Besiktas to a 6-1 record during his stint in Turkey, and despite not selling out the team's 3,200 seat arena, Williams averaged 19.7 points, 6.4 assists and 3.3 rebounds while shooting 54.9 percent from the field. The highlight was obviously a recent 50-point scoring explosion. He leaves Turkey with Besiktas in second place in the standings, one game behind leaders Anadolu Efes, whose roster includes Sasha Vujacic and Ersan Ilyasova.
Despite spending less than three months in Turkey, Williams has been formally honored by the team, who retired his No. 8 jersey and raised it to the rafters. I can't think of a better, funnier way to commemorate this incredibly unique experience for both club and player. Just awesome.
The next, obvious question: Will the Nets retire Williams' jersey after he bolts in free agency next summer?
Here's the video of Turkish club Besiktas retiring Deron Williams' jersey courtesy of YouTube user realderonwilliams.
Hat tip: IAmAGM.com.