Now that NBA players have their own podcasts, those guys are telling us more than we might ever learn through their comments to members of the media. It’s always easier to speak one’s mind when you don’t have to worry about its being synthesized by another party for mass consumption.
That’s why the Road Trippin’ podcast, featuring Cleveland Cavaliers teammates Richard Jefferson and Channing Frye, is so illuminating. In their 40th episode, which dropped over the weekend, Jefferson made a joke that said a lot about what it was like to have a teammate in Deron Williams, who was added to the squad midseason in 2016-17 after he’d been bought out by the Dallas Mavericks.
Here’s a transcript of a snippet of the conversation, courtesy of Cavs blog Fear the Sword:
Richard Jefferson: “When you ask Deron about golf, his eyes light up. When you ask Deron about MMA, his eyes light up.”
Dave McMenamin: “—What about when you talk to him about coming off the bench for the Cavaliers?”
Jefferson: “His eyes did not light up, his eyes did not light up.”
Chris Geeter: “What about when the Warriors saw him coming off the bench?”
Jefferson: “Their eyes lit up.”
Deron Williams was apparently not a fan of coming off the bench, even if that meant playing behind an All-Star like the possibly departing Kyrie Irving.
It’s probably safe to say that Williams, who’s now a free agent, won’t be returning to Cleveland next season. If the 33-year-old wants to be treated like a starter in his next landing spot, he certainly didn’t earn that right in the NBA Finals against the Golden State Warriors.
Through the series, which lasted five games, Williams shot an impossibly bad 12.5 percent from the floor, averaging 1.0 point, 1.6 rebounds, 1.2 assists, 1.0 turnover, and 12.2 minutes per game.