Mark Cuban is used to being booed. Deron Williams is probably in the same emotional state of toughness. But the inevitable ones set to come during Wednesday night's game against the Nets, Williams' first game at Barclays Center since leaving Brooklyn, may feel just a tad more personal for D-Will.
Cuban knows they're coming, too, though he doesn't think the insults will be as bad as the ones he heard after his Mavs orchestrated a deal that brought Jason Kidd to Dallas and sent Devin Harris to the New Jersey Nets, a trade that, at the time, was said to be one of the worst in Mavericks' history. Of course, it didn't turn out that way.
Here's the catch, though: Williams may not even play Wednesday evening after straining his hamstring during Tuesday night's game against the Raptors. Still, he was candid in discussing his status after the loss to Toronto.
Williams has had a solid season for the Mavericks this year and has mostly stayed healthy in Dallas. That's a big change from the lifeless production he was putting up in Brooklyn a season ago. If his name isn't called Wednesday, though, the boos may never come.
“Probably will. But it's better than when I went back after I went back after we traded for J-Kidd and the whole place was going, 'Thank you Cuban,' and Devin went off for 43 points.
“We got crushed. We got crushed and they're all going, 'Thank-YOU Cub-AN!'”
“I’m sure I’ll get booed,” Williams told ESPN.com over the weekend. “Those Brooklyn fans, they expected more out of me. I expected more out of myself. Injuries are tough, man. Somebody that’s been injured year after year, they can attest. They take a toll on you physically. It takes a toll on you mentally.
“Add that to the New York media and the fans — or I should say the non-fans, the ones that don’t pick you up — it all takes a toll on you. I think it definitely took a toll on me, but that’s what happens when you get paid that money and you don’t produce like it.”