Colangelo: D-Will “Unfit” During Olympics?

Wrist, ankle, calf, thigh, weight, sight lines, fatigue, system… Throughout his tenure with the Brooklyn Nets, there have been a multitude of reasons (excuses?) as to why point guard Deron Williams has not played up to the standard that fans, coaches, management and even Deron himself expect.

A new report from Stefan Bondy of the NY Daily News states that according to president of USA basketball, Jerry Colangelo, D-Will was “not in the best shape” during the Olympics, even before aggravating his chronic ankle injury.

“Deron Williams, for the Olympics, was not in the best shape,” Colangelo told The News on Friday. “He was a little overweight, and I told him that at the time.”

The report comes after Nets GM Billy King had recently stated that Deron Williams was just one pound heavier than when he originally came to the Nets back in 2011. As Bondy notes, Williams has yet to record a dunk this season. Even though we recently witnessed players such as Jerry Stackhouse, Keith Bogans and even Williams himself joke about the matter on NBATV’s “The Association,” it is still an alarming fact that may suggest Williams’ performance this season has indeed been hindered by outside factors such as injuries or weight.

Bondy also states that according to multiple league sources, the Nets allowed Williams to handpick their new strength and conditioning coach Jeremy Bettle, just after his arrival from Utah back in 2011. As a result, Billy King then fired longtime Nets strength and conditioning coach Rich Dalatri.

It is well-documented that Deron Williams did not get much rest over the past year. He played in Turkey during the lockout, finished the 2011-2012 NBA season, then headed straight for the Olympics while getting only four days off during the summer.

Colangelo, though, was not hesitant to bring up other players who played in the Olympics this past summer:

Colangelo noted that other Olympic participants — including MVP candidates LeBron James and Kevin Durant — are enjoying successful and injury-free seasons.

“If you look at the track record of all the players who participated with us, how they came into their next seasons and had outstanding years,” Colangelo said. “So there are injuries that have taken place that have nothing to do with participating with us. If anything, they’re in better shape and they’re better prepared going into training camp with their teams.”

Colangelo later noted his close relationship with Deron and claimed that no player is going to be hurt playing for team USA:

“I feel close to Deron, both from being from Illinois, and (from when) he was playing at Illinois . . . so I think I know him pretty well,” Colangelo said. “He’s a heck of a player, great guy, made a real contribution to USA Basketball and if he decides that he can’t participate because of his own health conditions, I’ve got a list a mile long of people who want to play.

“We take care of our players,” he added. “Nobody is going to get hurt because they play for USA Basketball. Just the opposite.”

Perhaps after sitting out the Nets last two contests vs. the Pacers and Nuggets (two wins), and obtaining nearly a week of rest, Williams will be able to return to form when the Nets take the court again following All-Star Weekend.


  1. The Nets have won 2 straight without D_Will, so I think we should give him another week or two or three, depending on our win/loss total, to heal that ankle and get some rest because he must be at his best in order for us to advance past the 1st Round of the Playoffs

  2. So there are injuries that have taken place that have nothing to do with participating with us.

    This statement bothered me a little. Every player is different, because every person is different. The fact is he HAS been playing non-stop since the beginning of last season. Other players may have held up to that kind of schedule better than he has, but does that really prove anything?

    On the other, I’m not sure what to think about the rumors that he got the strength and conditioning coach fired. Was our team that well conditioned with the previous coach? Can’t say I’ve noticed much of a difference without him.

  3. Dwill’s fatigue is not “well-documented” and is overstated as the possible cause of his mediocre performance thus far.

    Granted, Dwill did play in Turkey unlike many of the other stars that played in the Olympic. But this was in Summer 2011, almost two years ago. Dwill did have downtime to rest during the whole 2012 Playoff season, also the 2011 playoffs. Dwill had also taken the last several games off at the end of the 2012 season and arguably, played on “cruise control” mode for better part of the season as most if his focus and energy was spent on his “assistant gm” role.

    He also did not participate in many of the Olympic workouts because of his free agency status and played less minutes in the Olympic than many other stars including Chris Paul.

    It is not so alarming that Deron’s quick digression is perhaps due to injuries–actually brings a sense of hope that he can recover and play like Utah Deron one day. What is alarming is the fact that Deron’s mediocre play is perhaps due to weight and conditioning issues given the fact he was just rewarded $100 million and given the key of the franchise. What is alarming is the fact that organization still treats Deron like he will be a UFA at the end of the season by catering and protecting him.

    The organization, coach and even the media to some extent must switch mode and hold him accountable. Deron needs to be given some tough love at some point and tell him that his body language, lack of leadership, and mediocre performance notwithstanding the injuries are not acceptable.

    This team will only go so far as Deron takes them. I too hope some rest and downtime to reflect on his game will rejuvenate him for his sake and the team.