Deron Williams earned over $160 million
Deron Williams, 37, is supposed to be living the good life. He engaged in a debate with Chris Paul about who was the best point guard in the NBA for 12 years, from 2005 to 2017.
He was named to two All-NBA teams, appeared in three All-Star games, and won two Olympic gold medals.
The only thing he didn’t have was an NBA championship.
And the money, oh the money. Williams’ lifetime earnings totaled $159.5 million.
After buying out his contract in 2015, the Brooklyn Nets consumed more than $27.4 million in dead cap space over five seasons.
However, it appears that retirement has not been all that it was built up to be.
Perhaps Williams craves the limelight, the attention, and being in the public glare.
However, his most recent claimed move goes far beyond thrill-seeking and into serious injury danger.
Deron Williams appeared in his final NBA Finals game
Deron Williams was dismissed by the Dallas Mavericks in 2017.
He signed with the Cleveland Cavaliers and finished his career as Kyrie Irving’s caddie for the defending NBA champions.
Williams averaged 5.6 points and 2.5 assists in 15.5 minutes per game off the bench as the Cavaliers swept the Indiana Pacers, Toronto Raptors, and Boston Celtics to win the Eastern Conference for the third straight year.
He reached the NBA Finals for the first and only time in his career, just shy of his 33rd birthday.
Not to belabor the topic, but Williams was terrible in the Finals.
He scored five points in five games, shooting 2-of-16 overall and 1-of-9 from outside the arc.
Five turnovers canceled out his six assists, but he did incur eight fouls in 61 minutes, so there was that.
Williams became a free agent on July 1, 2017.
He never retired, but he also never played again.
On the Knuckleheads podcast in December 2020, he told Darius Miles and Quentin Richardson that injuries and personnel upheaval had hampered his time with the Nets.
“I had four coaches in 3.5 years,” Williams explained.
“As a point guard, you’re talking about a point guard who comes from a system that’s run properly, that’s coached perfectly [by Jerry Sloan], and now I’m learning a new offense with different players every single year.”
And there was no consistency at all. It’s difficult to settle into a routine.
“Then I started getting hurt.” I began to lose confidence. As a result, it began to eat at me.
When I was there, I started losing interest in the game since everything seemed to be going wrong.”
Williams, who has been out of the NBA for more than four years, is apparently moving on with his life.
A potentially difficult new path.
Williams is expected to box next
Deron Williams will fight on the undercard of Jake Paul vs. Tommy Fury on December 18 in Tampa, Florida, according to Shams Charania of The Athletic.
Frank Gore, the NFL’s third-leading rusher, is 38 years old and will play his 16th season with the New York Jets in 2020.
Williams isn’t a newcomer to the ring. He trains at Fortis MMA in Dallas.
His coach, Sayid Saud, believes the former NBA great can compete with UFC fighters in training:
“He’s a scrapper. He has a fantastic right hand. He can wrestle and is a great 1-2.
On the ground, I think he’s a good blue belt — a couple-stripe blue belt.
He doesn’t have a blue belt, but I’d put him in a blue belt division and bet on him all day.
“He’s a difficult guy.”
Sayid Saud, MMA coach, on Deron Williams
Wrestling skills are advantageous, but they are completely useless in a boxing battle.
Williams, on the other hand, throws punches and takes them from professional fighters. That’s a start.
Gore, on the other hand, has been training as a boxer for several months.
He turned down NFL opportunities this season to concentrate on it.
According to Trevor Booth of The Sporting News, Gore discovered a love for the squared circle.
“I just fell in love with how difficult it is,” Gore explained. ”
I thought to myself, ‘Man, I couldn’t fight.’ And I’m always up for a challenge.
So I kept doing it and doing it, and I noticed myself improving.”
For a short fighter, here’s some cheap advice: work the body.
Williams has a lot of it at 6-foot-3. Deron Williams enjoys fighting.
While Deron Williams has never fought professionally, he is familiar with the sport.
With UFC fighter Sean O’Connell and television personality Johnny Riche, he co-hosted the Ballers & Brawlers podcast.
When he was in the NBA, he was listed at 6-foot-3 and 200 pounds.
Gore weighed 212 pounds but stands only 5-foot-9, so the former NBA great had a significant height and reach advantage.
That is if Gore is chosen as his opponent.
The main event between Paul and Fury will be televised live on Showtime.
Paul is 4-0 with three knockouts in the 192-pound catchweight contest.
On August 29, he won a split decision over MMA fighter Tyron Woodley in Cleveland.
However, Fury represents a major step up in competitiveness.
Fury, unlike Paul’s first three opponents, is a professional boxer.
The British boxer is 7-0 with four knockouts.
He most recently fought on the undercard of Paul-Woodley, winning a unanimous decision over MMA fighter Anthony Taylor.
Fury’s opponents aren’t exactly strong.
At the time of their fights, his opponents’ combined career record was 14-175-5.
There’s no truth to the stories that one of those victories was over someone named Rocky Canvasback.
It just seemed like that.
There are currently no odds on a Deron Williams-Frank Gore match.
But if the fight goes on, there will be action in Tampa when the bell rings.
Basketball Reference and BoxRec provided the statistics.