All around the New Jersey Nets, everyone had come to understand something these past two weeks: Deron Williams wanted to destroy Jeremy Lin. Nothing personal – kid seems perfectly polite, has a nice story – but Williams has had downright disdain for his link to Linsanity.
“It started on me,” Williams said. “It’s been stuck on my mind.”
Williams is the best point guard in Metropolitan New York – one of the five best on the planet – and yet he’s been best remembered this season as the original foil for the blossoming of the Lin movement. Sixteen days ago, Knicks coach Mike D’Antoni gave Lin his big break against the Nets, and a magnificent performance earned him his first starting assignment. Sixteen days ago, Deron Williams started seething over that indignity and finally unleashed it all on Monday night, a hellacious 38 points to transform Linsanity into a whisper.
The Nets pounded the Knicks, and Williams devastated Lin with an array of shots, including eight 3-pointers, and hard drives to the basket. He hadn’t come to beat the Knicks, but punish Lin. Oh, yes, Linsanity stuck on his mind.