Instead, Williams' contract was bought out this summer with two years remaining, and Johnson doesn't quite understand why.
Johnson told reporters at Media Day on Monday that he didn't get why Williams wanted out of Brooklyn.
"I didn't see that coming," Johnson said. "It's not that bad here, so to be wanting to get bought out I couldn't really put my finger around that one." (Sept 28)
D-Will may go down as the single biggest mistake in an era of Nets basketball where they've made plenty. Have we heard a former Net who has left during the Williams era say anything positive about the point guard? When you can't even get Joe Johnson to say something nice, that's pretty telling.
I really think a lot of the pundits who expect the Nets to be bad this year don't quite get just how much of addition by subtraction the Williams move is. You have to cover this team, or have watched them 82 nights a year for the last three years to really understand it. On the surface, that notion seems crazy, but not knowing which D-Will you'd get on a nightly basis was such a drain on this club in every way.
Outside of a few second half stretches in years one and two in Brooklyn, Williams' attitude far outweighed his on-court performance. It's a shame, but the way he left even his former teammates puzzled in the wake of his departure speaks volumes about the legacy he leaves behind.