A week before the start of the regular season, point guard Deron Williams told reporters that they weren't going to like him if the Nets got off to a dreadful start.
"I get grumpy when I lose," said Williams, who had been accustomed to winning throughout his basketball career.
Eleven games into the 2011-12 campaign, the Nets are 2-9 and have three games remaining on their four-game West Coast road-trip. And Williams has been understandably frustrated.
Both he and his teammates have underperformed, and their record indicates as much.
Williams recently was told he needed to improve his body language and be a better leader. At the same time, it's not easy to put on that type of front when he's truly upset.
"It's a fine line," Williams told reporters on Friday morning. "People think I'm just being an ass----, but I just hate to lose. I just don't like losing. I don't sleep well when I lose. It just affects everything I do. So we've got to turn it around."
Problem is, that's going to be difficult to do. The Nets are without their second-best player, center Brook Lopez, and they've dealt with several other injuries as well. They're 26th in scoring and 28th in points allowed per game.
Williams leads the NBA in turnovers and is shooting an abysmal 35.4 precent from the field.
"I've never lost this much in my career, this early, this consistently," Williams said. "But you know, it's still early in the season, we're still learning how to play with each other, so there's not really a timetable on how quickly a team can jell together, we're just taking longer than we would like."