Deron Williams has yet to play a home game for the Brooklyn Nets, but he's already the King of New York.
Sure, Carmelo Anthony was here first and Amar'e Stoudemire before him, but when it comes to leading NYC basketball through the next decade, it's Williams that owns the street it is traveling on. With his help (not to mention a $1 billion arena and $82 million payroll) the Brooklyn Nets are the talk of the city and are poised to race past the Knicks in the Atlantic Division.
Both Melo and D-Will took very public, less than flattering paths to New York. Both are legitimate stars that own electrifying games to match the larger than life billboards their teams have them plastered on. But only one makes his teammates better and doesn't need to score to be effective and that's Williams.
Before he was traded to the Nets, Williams needed to carry the entire scoring load for the Utah Jazz and he was averaging a career-high 21.3 points per game. Then after he joined the Nets, he quickly took advantage of Brook Lopez down low on his way to average an amazing 12.8 assists.
Last year with Lopez sidelined and a cast of castoffs playing around him, Williams had to be the Nets only source of offense. So he played off the ball more, handing point guard duties to fringe NBA talent and attempted a career-high 17.5 shots a game.
While the losing quickly made him more than grumpy, he never turned away from what was asked of him by his head coach. Williams knew being a scorer was the only way New Jersey had a chance to win, so that's what he did.
You don't have to imagine how Anthony would handle being asked to play different roles, because we've seen it just during his time in New York and it hasn't been pretty. If he wasn't stewing about playing in Mike D'Antoni's offense, he was jealous of the "Linsanity" phenomenon or unable to share the basketball with Stoudemire.
Melo is an elite scorer and is now in the perfect situation. Knicks head coach Mike Woodson does one thing that makes his forward very happy: it's all Melo, all the time.
Williams might have long stretches where he never has to carry the offensive load and that will be just fine in his book. But there will never be any question who the king of Brooklyn's court is, and soon enough there won't be any doubt who's the King of New York.