The overriding perception from outside is that The Colony
product Deron Williams came off as the bad guy in the Utah Jazz’s
Not according to the people who know him best.
Raja Bell, the former Maverick who has always had a real
solid handle on things no matter how touchy they may be, said after the
Jazz’s shootaround today that Williams is not the reason that the Jazz no
longer have former coach Jerry Sloan or Williams himself, who was traded to New
“We’ve been through some stuff,’’
Bell said. “It all started really quick. First with Jerry and now with
Deron, it’s been a lot to digest. It’s hard not to let your motions
“But I don’t think there’s a bad guy in
this situation. All of the things that happened came from competitiveness. And
I can tell you that anything about Deron being the bad guy is
Bell isn’t the only one. C.J. Miles, the Skyline
product, said he was stunned when Williams was sent to the Nets for Devin
Harris and Derrick Favors, plus two first-round draft picks.
And he echoed Bell’s sentiment that Williams, was in
no way a malcontent.
“I don’t think he was completely
unhappy,’’ Miles said. “I just think he had some bad moments.
Him and coach had their thing. And there were things from frustration from us
feeling like we should have been playing better.
“There was frustration for the whole team. But because
he was Deron Williams, it was made more known. If he’s mad, if he’s
unhappy, then something must be terribly wrong. And I think it was just a
little frustration that got to him here and there, as it did everybody because
of the way we were playing.
“And now this happens and coach Sloan happens and it
makes it seem like he was this tearing-up-the-locker-room person the whole
year, which is not true. You can ask one through 12 and the coaches. That
wasn’t him. That’s just the way it looked.’’