Ever since he signed a five-year, $98 million contract to remain a Net in July, Deron Williams has been waiting to play in a meaningful game.
The All-Star point guard will finally get his chance tonight, when Brooklyn takes on Toronto in the first regular-season contest at the $1 billion Barclays Center.
“We’re excited to play this game tonight, and hopefully we can bring some excitement to people who haven’t had much,” Williams said, referring to the victims of Hurricane Sandy.
The Nets were supposed to open the season on Thursday night against the Knicks, but Mother Nature had other ideas.
The Nets were the last team in the NBA to play a preseason game. They’ll be the last team to play a regular-season game, too.
“We haven’t played a game in 10 days,” D-Will said, “so we’re excited to step out on the court and play against an actual opponent.”
Williams and Joe Johnson believe it’s imperative the Nets jump out of the gate and get early-season victories.
“We need to get a win,” D-Will said. “Not just for the building, but for our team to get off to a good start.”
Given how bad mass transit is right now -- despite more subway lines seemingly opening up by the hour -- Williams wonders how many fans will attend tonight’s game.
“Hopefully it’s a good atmosphere. I’m still a little skeptical of what kind of crowd we’re going to get tonight just because it’s really hard to get places,” Williams said. “Hopefully, it’s a good atmosphere. That’s what we want. That’s what we hope for.”