How was playing for Besiktas? What was the best part about the experience and what was the worst?
Deron Williams: The whole experience was great. After I initially got there I got settled and adjusted. Everything about my experience was great. I had a great time in Istanbul, I grew to love the city, the people… They made my stay over there memorable. And in the basketball front too. There was a lockout going on in the NBA so I was just happy to be playing basketball at a high level. Got to know my teammates really well and loved being over there.
Was it something that just came up?
DW: I thought about it about three years before that, because we pretty much knew there was going to be a lockout. They had been telling us to prepare for the lockout, and as a result I wanted to go an play somewhere else.
How was running the point playing in Europe as opposed to playing the point guard position in the NBA?
DW: It was different. I played a lot off the ball, I played a lot the two-guard, because we had a point guard. So it kind of freed me up and allowed me to come off screens a little bit more. I enjoyed it.
How was life off the court in Istanbul?
DW: It was great. Like I said I loved the city, the food, the culture, the people. I was actually kind of sad to leave, when I had to leave in the middle of the season, because I was enjoying my time over there.
Do you think you have a small advantage over your teammates because you have played with international rules more games than they have?
DW: I definitely think it helped me. I don't know how much of an advantage I have. I think it helped me to play over there for four months and get a steady dose of the international game.
How was free agency for you? Did you enjoy it, was it stressful?
DW: I enjoyed it and didn't enjoy it at the same time. It was good to be able to choose where I wanted to go. But it was very stressful trying to make a decision because I was really torn between two teams.
Was it your plan all along to sign early in free agency?
DW: Yeah, I wanted to sign as soon as possible. That was my goal. I knew I was probably gonna be the first person and then everybody else would kind of fall off of me. I wanted to get it done as soon as possible, not only for myself and for my family but for everybody else so they could pick where they wanted to go.
Were you expecting the Nets to make such a big investment in free agency?
DW: I knew they wanted to be aggressive, that they are willing to commit to win.
Was last year the toughest of your career?
DW: Yeah, by far.
Even worse than your rookie year, when you didn't get major playing time?
DW: Yeah, we won 41 games and I played 28 minutes a game as a rookie. Last year was a lot tougher than my first year by far.
Do you think you are going to be contenders this year?
DW: Only time will tell. I think everybody has to go through Miami. They are the team to beat. We have just to come together as a team, we're going to be a brand new team trying to adjust to each other so you never know how things will turn out.