DALLAS — He's no longer a member of the Utah Jazz, but Deron Williams still thinks highly of the organization and even hopes the Beehive State gets an elusive NBA championship.
That was one of several positive messages the two-time All-Star shared with Jazz TV play-by-play broadcaster Craig Bolerjack in an outgoing interview that aired Wednesday on FSN hours after Williams was traded from Utah to the New Jersey Nets.
Instead of talking about the bitterness of leaving the Jazz in a shocking trade, Williams spoke of good memories made in Utah with teammates, the team and fans.
"Everything happens for a reason. You take everything in stride," Williams told Bolerjack. "But I had a great five-and-a-half years here in Utah. The fans have always been great to me. They've been the best. They've been so supportive through everything, and I'm going to miss them. I'm definitely going to miss them, miss the organization. We had a great organization, great times and great wins."
Williams admitted it was very hard walking onto the bus and telling his teammates goodbye Wednesday morning as they left for shootaround without him.
"It's tough, man. I've got great teammates, great coaches. I wanted to just say goodbye to them. It's the last time I'm going to play with a lot of them," Williams said. "I've had a lot of great years with those guys in the locker room. I've been here with C.J. (Miles) since I came and Paul (Millsap) for the last five years. Those guys I'm going to miss. Ronnie Price. We had a great group of guys in the locker room."
Williams even wished the Jazz well in the future without him.
"I wish we could have did a little bit more, maybe won a championship and brought that to Utah," he said. "I wish all of the guys the best of luck that are still here. I wish Ty (Corbin) the best of luck. I think he's going to do a great job (as head coach) for this team, for this organization and I still hope they get a championship."
Williams agreed that it was an odd coincidence that the trade came down in Dallas, where he grew up and played high school basketball. He was looking forward to playing in front of friends and family members against the Mavericks on Wednesday night — something that didn't come to pass as he was instead New Jersey-bound.
"It's a business and I've got to accept that," he said. "You know, God does everything for a reason. I just look forward to the next chapter."50 comments on this story
Williams added that he looks back fondly on time spent in Utah, where he was drafted out of Illinois with the No. 3 pick overall in 2005.
"As you definitely reflect and think back, I had a great five-and-a-half years," Williams said. "This year has been a little bit more difficult than others with everything that happened with Coach (Jerry) Sloan and him retiring and stepping down and now this, but like I said, God has a plan for everybody and this is the plan he had for me."