Williams’ first game vs. friend Nets didn’t get
by Sam Amick, USA TODAY Sports
SACRAMENTO — When he finally shares the court with Dwight Howard on Tuesday at Staples Center in Los Angeles, Deron Williams will be fixated on what is rather than what might have been.
His Brooklyn Nets (6-2) are doing big things without the big man he so badly wanted to partner with, winning five consecutive games, including Sunday at the Sacramento Kings, and pushing for what could be their first six-game streak since 2005-06 when they take on Howard’s Lakers.
All those months of fruitless trade discussions between Howard’s former Orlando Magic team and Williams’ Nets last season, all the talk of a powerful pairing the friends first plotted as Team USA teammates in China more than four years ago, and Howard is now nothing more than another opponent.
Williams wants the Nets to make a steady climb to the NBA’s upper echelon, and Howard — who was so surprisingly sent to the Lakers in a four-team trade in mid-August — is one of the many who are in the way.
“Dwight was never (an option for the Nets),” Williams told USA TODAY Sports on Monday. “I don’t think (the Magic) were ever going to trade him to us, so it doesn’t matter. When he opted in (to his contract for another season in mid-March), it kind of took that option away.”
Williams is just fine that most of the attention will be on new Lakers coach Mike D’Antoni, hired to replaced the fired Mike Brown but whose debut has been delayed because of his recovery from recent knee replacement surgery.
“I think (the Lakers) are going to be good. They have a great nucleus,” said Williams, who most recently played under assistant coach D’Antoni for the gold-medal winning Team USA squad last summer. “Things just take time — just like with us. You have to find a way for … [For more on Deron Williams has first game vs. friend Nets didn't get, click here.]