Deron Williams and Chris Paul have been compared and contrasted in every possible way ever since they were drafted third and fourth overall, respectively, in 2005.
So it was only natural that Williams was asked for his take on the bizarre developments of the past few days in which the New Orleans Hornets, Houston Rockets and Los Angeles Lakers attempted to put together a three-team trade sending Paul to the Lakers — only to see NBA Commissioner David Stern issue a stunning veto of the deal after deciding the league-owned Hornets did not get enough in return for Paul.
"I don’t want to get into it, man," Williams said, before doing exactly that.
"David Stern’s a bully. You really can’t go up against him, man."
When a reporter asked if Williams had a problem with that quote being used, he responded, "[Stern] knows he’s a bully. Ain’t no secret … everybody knows that. I think every owner of every big business is a bully. That’s how they become successful."
Williams said that he felt for his friend Paul, one of his teammates on the gold-medal-winning 2008 US Olympic team in Beijing.
"I tried to call him the other day, but I knew it was hectic, so I figured I’d leave him alone," Williams said. "There’s enough going on.
"I try to feel about people the way I would feel, and I would turn off my phone and talk to nobody, so that’s what I tried to do, think what I would do."
Ironically, the fact that Stern stepped in and vetoed the deal may have dealt a significant blow to the Nets’ hopes of pairing Williams with another good friend, Dwight Howard, as the Lakers can now offer both Andrew Bynum and Pau Gasol to the Magic for their star center, as opposed to the Nets’ ability to offer Brook Lopez, draft picks and cap space to absorb the millstone contract of Hedo Turkoglu (three years, $34 million remaining).