Colangelo: D-Will “Unfit” During Olympics?

Deron Williams

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.