As a rule of thumb, most professional athletes attempt to avoid any form of written/spoken media, be it from a newspaper, blog, radio, whatever. In an era of constant player bashing, the last thing an athlete wants to hear is how awful they’ve been playing or how their mental mistake cost their team a game.
But not Deron Williams.
The Brooklyn Nets point guard embraced the media backlash, so much so he used it as motivation to spark his second half resurgence this season.
Per Nets Daily:
“When you hear people talking about it that way … [that] it’s all on me … it definitely hurts, definitely motivates you to come back stronger,” said Williams, adding, “So I look forward to prove people wrong — for years to come.”
Williams of course had been struggling going into the NBA All-Star break so in addition to changing his diet, Williams underwent platelet rich plasma therapy as well as a regimen of cortisone shots. While painful, Williams was out to prove the doubters wrong and that’s exactly what he did.
The West Virginia native was shooting a paltry 41% through the seasons first half, averaging 16.7 points in the process. But post All-Star break, Williams turned it on, improving his shooting percentage to 48% and bumped his scoring average up by six points a game to 22.9.
Everybody reacts to criticism in their own way and for Williams, it appeared to be the fuel his fire needed.