EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. -- Deron Williams was about to make a big decision, perhaps the most important one of his young life.
During the summer, as the All-Star point guard mulled whether to stay with the Nets or bolt to Dallas to play for his hometown Mavericks, questions began to pile up in his head, particularly regarding Dallas' plans. But Mavs owner Mark Cuban was off in Hollywood, shooting episodes of the ABC show "Shark Tank," and left it up to coach Rick Carlisle, president of basketball operations Donnie Nelson and consultant Michael Finley to do the talking.
Williams didn't blink Monday when asked if Cuban's absence for his sit-down with team brass helped influence his decision to re-sign with the Nets and shun the opportunity to go home. "Of course," he said after practice at PNY Center.
"My top four when I was coming out of high school was Illinois, Georgia Tech, Tennessee and Maryland," Williams said. "Maryland told me they wanted me to come on a visit, but Gary Williams wouldn't be there. So I told them it's OK. I'd rather not go. So that was the end of that."
Gary Williams, who was Maryland's coach at the time, wasn't around to respond to Deron Williams' queries, just as Cuban wasn't present when the Mavericks pursued him -- a situation for which they had prepared for two years.
"He would have been able to answer a lot of questions that me and my agent didn't get answered that day, pertaining to the future," Williams said.
Williams wanted to know all about Cuban's master plan. The Mavs told him to look at the franchise's recent success, which included an NBA title in June 2011.
"Everything was just about their track record," Williams said. "I can honor that, because they do have a good track record. But it's not enough for me just to switch organizations, especially when Billy [King] was updating me daily."
Cuban spun things around after Williams spurned him, saying the Mavs were better off without him.
"In hindsight, I don't know if he would have been happy," Cuban told a Dallas radio station in August. "I think we're in better position now than we would have been if we had gotten him."
Williams said he didn't hear Cuban's words and that he couldn't care less. "That's Mark. He does that with a lot of people," Williams said. "He did that [with] J-Kidd now . It doesn't matter to me. I'm not concerning myself with him anymore. I'm a Brooklyn Net, I'm not a Dallas Maverick."