If you missed the “controversy” behind Deron Williams’ time with the Cleveland Cavaliers, I don’t blame you. This entire offseason has been chaos. To catch up, read the article Carter Rodriguez wrote about a particular conversation held on the Road Trippin’ podcast.
To address these rumors, Richard Jefferson joined Deron Williams on his Ballers and Brawlers podcast for their eighth episode, released Sept. 12. The guys wasted no time before diving right into the subject of their supposed “beef” with each other.
RJ starts off by giving a recap of the entire conversation and setup of the Road Trippin’ episode. During his long spiel, he adds a bit of clarity to his statement about Williams supposedly not enjoying coming off of the bench:
“And so, you know, just kind of in the middle of it, one of my guys is like ‘Well, did he like coming off the bench' and I was like ‘Nah, his eyes didn’t really light up coming off the bench. The dude’s a twelve year starter in this NBA, I don’t like coming off the bench and I’m on my way out.’
“My cohost goes 'well what about when the Golden State Warriors [saw him]’ and so it was ‘Their eyes light up.’ And so it got turned into - Bleacher Report took that one line, then they started literally doing, like, photoshops of pictures of the Warriors’ bench I was like okay okay, this is some bullshit… so I texted Deron and I was like ‘Yo, before any of this shit gets out of hand, here is the full audio of what I said.’”
None of what he said is all that significant, but it is worth noting that Jefferson did reach out to Williams. It’s important as well to remember that, at the time of Williams’ signing, Cavs fans knew that he was going to have a serious adjustment ahead of him to come off the bench. Williams’ response sounds just as you would expect:
“Well, first of all, I had already heard about it before you texted me and I laughed, I laughed instantly. Because I know you, number one, so like, that stuff doesn’t bother me. Second of all, it was true. [Laughs] I mean, I think anybody who’s 2 for 15 in the Finals, the other team’s eyes are gonna light up a little.”
The best part of the interview comes when Jefferson sets his sights on Bleacher Report and sports media in general and the way they blow small things out of proportion sometimes:
“Just so fans know and before they start trying to start a beef, you know, Bleacher Report or Sports Illustrated, it’s all bullshit clickbait. And so I text you, and you’re like ‘Aw man, I don’t pay attention to any of that stuff. Wanna come on the podcast and talk about it?’ and [I said] ‘Damn right I do.’”
Basically, Williams understood his poor performance in the Finals and seems to have maintained his connection with at least one of his Cleveland teammates. Given the way they chatted during the whole podcast, Williams may have been fine with his time in Cleveland after all.
Should that be the case, the only reason the Cavaliers have for moving on from Deron would be the financials. While they snagged Derrick Rose for the minimum, Williams would likely cost much more, although having him in the wake of the Kyrie Irving-Isaiah Thomas trade would make a massive difference.
It’s pretty much entirely in the past at this point. The Road Trippin’ guys, as expected, meant Williams no ill will, and he took it as the joke it was.