D-Will needs an attitude adjustment – Brian Henderson
We get it. Deron Williams is frustrated that after two regular season games, his teammates do not yet know the offense that he’s been comfortably running for years now. As a fan interested in the team’s success, I do not want to make a mountain out of a mole hill. But Deron’s bullet pass and public berating of rookie Gordon Hayward needs to be discussed, because it was completely uncalled for and has the potential for getting out of hand quickly unless D-Will nips himself in the proverbial bud. As the leader of the team, Williams has the responsibility to instill confidence in his teammates by how he teaches them to improve their game. As most of us with professional work experience know, one of the most ineffective ways to make a point with an eye toward improving performance is to publicly undress a colleage. It’s bad form. It almost always backfires. Most importantly, though, it diminishes the willingness to follow of those being led–a crucial element for every successful leader.
I sincerely hope Deron patches things up with this kid or that tension can quickly stretch until it’s so taut that even a wayward glance can snap it. I’ve seen it happen many times before. If it really is just a process of learning the offense, if there really is no cause for alarm after two games, then D-Will better act like it. Problem is, he’s not. Williams’ response to a slow start of two games seems to be an overreaction to the situation, if that’s really all that’s going on. As the Tribune is reporting, just a day after he asserted that to be the case, this is quickly becoming a bigger deal, which makes me wonder what’s really going on.
Anyway, Deron’s leadership must start with acting like a teammate and not an enemy. How many times last night could D-Will have rocketed the ball at Al Jefferson because he didn’t pop the ball back out of the post, or make the right read on a defense? Last I checked, Williams hasn’t been performing at his level best, either. I feel bad for Hayward. He was one of the only Jazz players playing with all-out hustle last night. Nevermind that Hayward finished the give and go play by making the basket. And yet he bore the brunt of D-Will’s ire, which was severely misplaced. Kiss and make up, boys. Otherwise, the wire you’re walking will only get higher. And if we think this is ugly, wait until it really snaps. Let’s all hope D-Will takes a breather on this one, which I’m confident he will. Oh, and Gordon? Next time, make that cut.
Time to step up, Gordon (and everyone else) – Jeff Lind
Deron Williams is typically a pretty level headed guy. It’s one of his greatest strengths as a basketball player. He seems to be able to control his competitive rage and dole it out appropriately when he needs to. So last night when Williams dressed down Gordon Hayward on national TV, was I surprised? Yes. Was I angry? Nope.
I love Hayward. I’m glad he’s our guy. He’s a heady basketball player, he’s smart, and he’s talented with the ball. But I trust Deron. He’s the sole team captain for a reason. Yes, the Hayward confrontation was ugly and it seemed mean spirited, but you know what? Sometimes people need a wake up call. If Deron went after him, he did it for a good reason. To me it seemed like a message to Hayward and the rest of the team. I don’t know why he picked Gordon as the delivery method… maybe because he knew he would A) accept it, B) learn from it, and C) could take it like a man, but this was a message to the team… This was the “PULL YOURSELVES TOGETHER!” moment.
You know who thought the confrontation was a big deal? Media members on the sidelines, bloggers, and fans. You know who didn’t? Jerry Sloan, Reggie Miller, Deron Williams, and anyone that has ever played a professional sport. So, sorry Gordon. That sucks that you’re the whipping boy… but you know what? Welcome to the NBA. This isn’t kid stuff. This isn’t a job at your dad’s law firm where your “boss” pulls you aside and tells you you’re doing a bang-up job. This is professional basketball. The game is bigger, faster, and stronger than you are. Millions of dollars, jobs, and fan’s hopes are living and dying by your success. If you can’t handle a vet giving you a public shout, then get a job elsewhere. This is where the big boys come to play. People are going to get frustrated, and you’re going to get yelled at from time to time. Deal with it.
Hayward knows this. He can take it and he’s gonna be good. Deron knows it too. Let the captain lead his team.