The Wizards had a logical new rivalry with the Brooklyn Nets thanks to Andray Blatche. But Deron Williams, the face of the relocated franchise, always seems to be the guy that has a beef when he plays Washington.
Blatche's 16 points and eight rebounds against his former team were overshadowed in Barclays Center's first game on Monday by Williams' encounter with Wizards guard A.J. Price in the final minute.
After Price ran into Blatche and lost the ball, he raced back on defense and shouldered Williams for an obvious foul. The two ended up face-to-face with rookie Bradley Beal in between before backing down. While Williams grinned, Price, with 20 friends and family at the game, showed his fierce Long Island pride.
"I'm not a tough guy," Williams told reporters. "I just like to play basketball. I hate when people just start talking for no reason. I guess he had some boys in the crowd he wanted to impress while he can -- the little minutes he's going to get this year."
With a new $99 million contract, it's a wonder Williams was bothered at all. The playoff expectations on his shoulders should be far more concerning than Price, who will make less than $1 million this season.
Williams, who also was ejected from Washington's 108-89 win in Newark in March for arguing with referees, tried to get the last word on the court, too. With Price guarding him with under 30 seconds remaining, Williams pounded his dribble hard and drove to the basket. But Beal slid over and got him called for a charge.
- Craig Stouffer