Rajon Rondo was a poor fit with the Dallas Mavericks from the beginning. Space and movement have always been what deemed offenses featuring Dirk Nowitzki so lethal, and the former All-Star’s playing style directly clashed with those basketball ideologies. Not only is Rondo a poor, reluctant shooter from all areas of the floor, but he’s a deliberate, prodding floor general, one who much prefers to probe defenses with his dribble than quick-hitting passes to teammates – a losing proposition for the Mavericks.
All of that was obvious when Mark Cuban swung for the fences by trading for the disgruntled point guard last December. The hope was that sheer talent would force would mismatched puzzle pieces into place, propelling Dallas back to heights of contention it hadn’t reached since winning a title in 2011. That never happened, of course, and Rick Carlisle’s concerted efforts to ensure it did served the opposite purpose, alienating Rondo to the point of no return before the season even ended – and famously leading to an in-game exchange of profanity between the two.
After letting their new playmaker walk in free agency, the Mavericks surely sought to replace him by finding a successor who could peacefully coexist with their lauded head coach. Given the comments of one person close to Deron Williams, though, it seems the team might have doubled-down on its problem by bringing the Dallas native back home.
In an interview with Laura Thompson of Salt City Hoops, long-time Utah Jazz team physician Dr. Lyle Mason detailed his front-row seat to watching Williams – with whom he’s still friendly, by the way – openly refute the play-calls of legendary coach Jerry Sloan.
Deron was the opposite of Stockton: Deron could not handle the coach calling any plays. He wanted to call every play. I’ll never understand why that was such a big deal, that if the coach called one play, he was going to run another one, which he always did. And that was part of what really drove them apart, was that Deron just decided he didn’t need coaching, and Jerry obviously thought otherwise.
It’s no secret that Sloan and Williams clashed during their final days with the Jazz. Though all parties involved never confirmed loud rumors that Sloan’s relationship with his star player was the reason for his sudden resignation in February of 2011, the writing was on the wall less than three weeks later when Williams was traded to the New Jersey Nets.