In February 2011, Deron Williams was blindsided by a SportsCenter report that he’d been traded to the New Jersey Nets, refusing to believe it at first. He wasn’t happy with the move and wasn’t ready to commit to the Nets, who he’d known all along as a bumbling franchise.
Two years later, Williams — who signed a maximum contract worth $98 million with Brooklyn two offseasons ago — is happily the face of the Brooklyn Nets. Time heals. Now the Nets, perpetually leaving New Jersey behind, are accelerating that process with each player.
Doc Rivers, who coached Kevin Garnett with the Boston Celtics from 2007-08 through this past season, told WEEI radio that Garnett struggled with the idea of waiving his no-trade clause and joining the Brooklyn Nets at first, but has since warmed up to the franchise.
The quotes, courtesy of ESPN New York:
“I just thought it was a tough one for him. If he has one fault as a player … he doesn’t really allow anyone to get to know him, and Kevin hates change. Hates it. [He’s] extremely loyal. At the end of the day, he felt like Paul (Pierce) was gone, I was gone, Jason Terry was leaving, and that he was doing it for the right reasons. Not necessarily that he wanted to go, he just thought this was something that (Celtics general manager) Danny (Ainge) wanted. Danny wanted to rebuild, reload and he just felt like he was doing the right thing.”
“I don’t necessarily know if he wanted to go. But he went and now when you talk to him … he’s excited. He’s excited about his new team and he really believes they have a chance of knocking Miami off in the East.”
So Garnett left Boston out of loyalty to Boston, so he could build loyalty in Brooklyn. Fine with me.
Garnett had to be convinced by former Celtics and current Nets teammate Paul Pierce to join Pierce in Brooklyn and waive the no-trade clause in his contract. He agreed to do so on June 27th, the night of the NBA Draft, and the trade became official in July.