Former Nets All-Star Explains Why He Is ‘Jealous’ of Suns Star Chris Paul

Joe Johnson, Deron Williams

Getty Deron Williams and Joe Johnson of the Nets during the 2015 NBA Playoffs.

Presently, all of the hype surrounding the Brooklyn Nets has to do with their big three of Kevin Durant, James Harden, and Kyrie Irving. But this is not The Nets’ first try at making a super team work. When they first arrived in Brooklyn in 2012, the Nets had a star-studded team that included All-Stars Kevin Garnett, Paul Pierce, Joe Johnson, and Deron Williams. While the core four of the Nets enjoyed the minimal success it is still one of the greatest collections of talent to grace an NBA floor.

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Deron Williams Explains Why He Is ‘Jealous’ of Chris Paul

Williams, who was the starting point guard for the Nets when they first arrived in Brooklyn still likes to keep tabs on what is going on in the NBA today. Recently, he has been keeping in touch with former rival turned friend Chris Paul, the starting point guard for the defending Western Conference champion Phoenix Suns. Just one year apart in age, Paul continues to torch the league with his high-IQ plays and ability to facilitate. Williams retired in 2017 after a short stint with the Cleveland Cavaliers.

“It’s very impressive,” Williams said of Paul to Brandon ‘Scoop B’ Robinson of  “Bally Sports.”“A little jealous that he’s still out there doing his thing. I actually just talked to him last week. Once they announced the fight, he called me right away. He’s trying to come down to the fight and he couldn’t get front-row tickets. I said, ‘If CP3 can’t get front rows, that means they’re going like hot cakes.'”

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Williams Set To Face Ex-NFL Running Back in Boxing Match

Choosing a new career path is a big step for retired NBA players. Many like Garnett and Pierce have become analysts or started podcasts, telling stories from the locker room. Some go on to be coaches like Nets’ legend Jason Kidd. But for Williams, a new athletic debut is the road he has chosen to go down.

On December 18th, he will face off against 5-time NFL Pro Bowl running back Frank Gore on the undercard for the Jake Paul versus Tommy Furry fight at Amalie Arena in Tampa Bay, Florida. The two are contracted for a four-round, 215-pound fight.

Williams Details His Preparation for Boxing Match

Boxing is an interesting change of career for Williams, but it should come as no surprise when considering his history in combat. He won two state wrestling championships in high school and currently owns a stake in Fortis MMA gym, a highly regarded facility in Dallas, Texas.

Before the COVID-19 pandemic, he was training for an MMA exhibition bout. Now once again scheduled to make his professional debut Williams has taken an unorthodox approach to preparing for his bout with Gore.

“Getting punched in the face,” Williams told Bally Sports on Tuesday afternoon when asked how he is preparing for the fight.

“Yeah, I mean, you get hit every now in basketball. You see, basketball players, even when I was playing, you get hit every now and then in the face. … It just happens every now and then, and it happens once every 10 games or 20 games. If you were out there getting smacked in the face every play, you’d get used to it (and) you adjust. So, I think it’s kind of the same thing with boxing and MMA. You have to get used to getting punched in the face.”

Williams Sounds off on Nate Robinson’s Boxing Debut

The former Nets’ All-Star is not the only retired basketball player who took a shot at boxing. Nate Robinson faced off against Jake Paul last November in the undercard of the Mike Tyson versus Roy Jones Jr. fight. Unfortunately, Robinson’s debut was anything but spectacular as he was knocked out in the second round, lying unconscious on the mat for several minutes.

“I watched it”, Williams said of Robinson’s fight. “I’m not Nate Robinson. I think I have a little more experience than Nate. I’ve been training stand-up and boxing for 8-10 years. I’ve sparred against high-level UFC guys that are bigger than me, that are my size, and that are smaller than me, so, I think I’m a little more prepared than Nate was for that fight.”

There has been a long-standing debate in the sports community about who is tougher between football players and basketball players. On December 18th the world may finally get the answer to that question.

 READ NEXT: Trade Proposal: Brooklyn Nets Ship Kyrie Irving West for Starting Guard

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