Utah Jazz notes: ESPN columnist disses Williams

Published: Monday, Oct. 27 2008 12:44 a.m. MDT

Associated Press

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One ESPN columnist has made it more than clear lately.

He (hearts) Chris Paul.

Way more than he likes Deron Williams.

Bill Simmons seems to be on a mission: "The Sports Guy" wants NBA writers, basketball experts, "Saved by the Bell" fans, everybody, to stop pretending Williams belongs in Paul's league.

And he wants the comparison craziness to end now, please.

For the second time in a week, the ESPN.com columnist/Paul Fan Club President wannabe(?) chided others for even suggesting that the young NBA stars and Olympic teammates' talents are close enough to be debate-worthy.

"By the way, we need to stop comparing Williams to Paul. It's just dumb," he wrote in his ESPN.com fantasy basketball player preview. "This is not Pacino versus De Niro. This is not Brady versus Manning. This isn't even Morris versus Slater. Williams has a chance to go down as one of the best point guards of his generation. Paul has a chance to go down as one of the best 25 players ever. Big difference."

Not even akin to "Morris versus Slater" — that great Saturday morning teen tube rivalry, eh?

Ouch. Where's Mr. Belding when you need him, Jazz fans? Well, at least Simmons didn't compare Williams to Screech.

Then again, he still might. In the current "ESPN The Magazine" issue, Simmons says the Paul-Williams debate is "like comparing Pearl Jam to Stone Temple Pilots. Don't waste your time."

By his logic, you'd be better off debating which marooned woman on Gilligan's Island was hotter: Ginger or Mrs. Howell.

DAY OFF: The Jazz didn't practice Sunday but will get back at it this morning in preparation for Wednesday night's NBA season-opener against the Denver Nuggets at EnergySolutions Arena.

FOND FAREWELL: Former Syracuse standout Gerry McNamara had nothing but good to say about how he was treated in Utah by management and players during his stay here this fall. The point guard, who was waived Saturday, especially enjoyed working with the three point guards — Williams, Ronnie Price and Brevin Knight — the Jazz kept on their roster.

"They're locked up. They've got three guys that are great players and all three of those guys are capable of running a team as well as anybody. It's a good experience for me to be around guys like that — not just any guys — but guys that have been in the league and have done it.

"For someone like me who hasn't played in the NBA and is trying to, to be around guys like that and try to pick their brain and see what they do that makes them successful is a good experience."

Read more about McNamara on the Jazz blog at deseretnews.com/blogs.


E-mail: jody@desnews.com

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