Follow the Nets' return to New York with Newsday's Rod Boone.
Deron opens up about his pain
EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. -- Just how rough was it for Deron Williams as he dealt with pain in his ankles leading into last month's All-Star break?
"Listen man," Williams said after practice at the PNY Center Saturday, "walking from here to that locker room felt like - - - -. It felt like - - - -. What do you not understand? Like, I could not walk. I could not ask up my stairs without it not killing me. It would take me 10 minutes to get up my stairs some times, especially in the morning. I feel totally different right now. I feel like I have just a whole new energy."
Williams got fed up after Tony Parker ran circles around him in the Spurs' 111-86 win at the Barclays Center Feb. 10. That's when, after a third round of cortisone shots in both ankles a few days prior, he decided to have the platelet rich plasma therapy procedure done on his ankles and the Nets gave him a week off.
"That San Antonio game was kind of the last straw," Williams said. "I felt like I was just hurting the team even being out there playing the way I was because I couldn't move or couldn’t stay in front of anybody, couldn't beat anybody off the dribble, couldn't jump. If I did find some energy or some not pain to do one move, by the time I did the one move, it hurt so bad that I couldn't even jump to shoot a layup. So, it was just painful."
In essence, Williams indicated he was putting some pressure on himself to play at an All-Star level, even though he wasn't completely healthy. He still tried to be the team's leader, but admitted it wasn't all easy since he wasn't exactly looking like an elite point guard out there.
"The beginning of the season when I was playing bad," Williams said, "it's just harder to -- I don't want to say feel sorry for myself, but not be down on myself. Keith [Bogans] was telling me all the time, 'You are being too hard on yourself. You are beating yourself up.' I feel like I'm letting people down, letting my team down, letting fans down if I’m playing bad.
"So, that was the biggest thing for me. It wasn't not trying to be a leader. It was staying positive about myself, which I think my teammates knew that I’m not healthy and they see me kind of being down. I’m not down on them, I’m down on myself and so it can have that reaction where it trickles down.
He added: "I was still trying to be positive to everybody. I think it's more my body language on the court because I couldn't do what I wanted to do. I've heard people say, 'I look disinterested. I’m not disinterested. I’ve never tanked. I’ve never wanted to play bad. I’ve never wanted to miss shots. I just couldn't make shots."