On Feb. 23, Deron Williams(notes) was in Salt Lake City, saying goodbye to teammates, blindsided like the rest of us at the trade that sent him to the New Jersey Nets.
On Feb. 25, he was in San Antonio, taking on the Spurs, as a member of the Nets. Feb. 26? Houston. Feb. 28? In Newark, New Jersey, aiding his Nets in a close loss to the Phoenix Suns.
Right now? Deron Williams and the Nets are in London, preparing to take on the Toronto Raptors in a pair of games the NBA cobbled together ages before the Utah Jazz even knew an existence without Jerry Sloan and Deron Williams was in the realm of the possible. Though the Nets were pegged as definite trade-deadline participants from the moment they traded for Troy Murphy's(notes) expiring contract last August, the NBA went ahead with this bit of schedule in order to take advantage of a free weekend caught after the deadline, but before the NCAA tournament starts in earnest.
And Williams? The guy is tired. Listen to him talk to the Canadian Press on Wednesday:
"I haven't had any time to just sit down somewhere and relax," Williams said Wednesday, a week after being traded from the Utah Jazz and two days before the first regular season NBA games to be played in Europe.
"I haven't had much time, been in my place for one day," Williams said. "I've done a lot of travelling over the last six days."
As someone who still has emails from December to open and read, I can relate.
The physical exhaustion? Eh, not so much. Put your shorts on and go. But the mental fatigue of change after change after change after hotel after airport and, wait, so you're telling me that Johan Petro(notes) isn't left-handed? These things can build up, playbooks have to be cracked open, first names have to be memorized, and yet the only thing people want to talk about is what Williams is going to do as a free agent in 2012.
"Honestly, travel is terrible. It takes a lot out of you," Vujacic said. "It takes your legs away, especially for the shooters. Sometimes it's very tricky, but we have to learn how to live with it."
Yeah, Mr. League Average at 3-pointers? You're not a shooter. "We have to learn to live with it." Hilarious.
The Nets will play the Raptors at 3 p.m. ET on Friday and again at 3 p.m. ET on Saturday. As the blogosphere's resident Anglophile, we of course will be running a live chat at Ball Don't Lie for Friday's game. All manner of attendees from that scepter'd isle, that blessed plot, will be welcomed heartily.
- Deron Williams