|This guy is the leader of the Nets! (Getty Images)|
Deron Williams was incredibly offended at the talk after Jerry Sloan decied to retire mid-season before Williams was traded that the star point guard was responsible for the legend's departure. Now, with Avery Johnson fired following public criticism of Williams, the Nets and their point guard will be going on the offensive to try and dispell the notion that this decision was all about Johnson's inability to connect and impress Williams.
But the story behind the curtain points to a consistent narrative: Deron Williams killed Avery Johnson's employment.
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From the New York Times in an in-depth behind-the-curtain look at Prokhorov's circus:
By the time Johnson was fired, he had lost several members of the locker room. Williams was the most obvious one, and his decision not to play Wednesday night in Milwaukee — citing a wrist injury that he had played through all season — only fueled speculation that he had, as one friend of Johnson's said, “totally quit on Avery.”
There's no big shock there. But this needs to be noted as Ken Berger broke down the myriad reasons why Johnson was let loose Thursday and the fact that Phil Jackson is "definitely interested" in the Nets position.
Williams has multiple coaches' blood on his hands. If Williams backed his coach, he'd be employed. It's that simple. Mikhail Prokhorov demands success, but he also has shown a willingness to defer to superstars and their whims. (Observe: the hoops he jumped through in a failed effort to obtain Carmelo Anthony's approval.) Williams took Johnson's legs out with his comments last week about the system. Prokhorov just put him out of his misery.
At some point, you start wondering whether all the extraneous issues are not the problem.
Williams is averaging 17 points on 40 percent shooting with 7.8 assists, but the lowest assist rate of his career since his rookie season.