Kathy Willens/Associated Press

Deron Williams responds to former teammate Paul Pierce's critical comments

By SI Wire
April 16, 2015

Brooklyn Nets point guard Deron Williams says he is not bothered by recent comments made by former teammate Paul Pierce, in which he described his time with the team as “horrible” and insinuated that Williams couldn't handle the pressure of playing in New York.

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Pierce commented on his only season with the Nets after spending the first 15 years with the Boston Celtics. He signed a two-year deal with the Washington Wizards last off-season.

Pierce said he looked at Williams as an MVP candidate when he signed with the team.

"I think a lot of the pressure got to him sometimes," Pierce said about Williams. "This was his first time in the national spotlight. The media in Utah is not the same as the media in New York, so that can wear on some people. I think it really affected him."

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Williams said the comments didn't bother him because he has been criticized before and it won't be the last time someone has something to say about him.

"Being here, I got pretty thick skin," Williams said to ESPN.com after the team’s season finale on Wednesday. "He has his opinions, and that's fine."

"It's what it is," Williams added. "I can't change his opinions. So just leave it at that."

Williams averaged 13 points, 6.6 assists and 3.5 rebounds in 68 games this season for Brooklyn, which opens the first round of the playoffs on Sunday against the Atlanta Hawks, the top seed in the Eastern Conference.

- Scooby Axson

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