While chugging beer, being bombarded by jingoistic 9/11 tributes, and watching football you probably neglected to notice that Deron Williams actually began his playing career in Turkey. Okay, it was just an exhibition game. The Turkish league’s season has not started yet, but Williams is already making an impact even though he was not scheduled to play for Besiktas Cola Turka in the Bormio Tournament in Italy.
Besiktas won the game against Montepaschi Siena, 93-91, as Williams tallied 14 points, eight rebounds, and six assists in just 18 minutes of playing time. He did all of that without even knowing any of the plays and just two days after arriving in Turkey.
Williams was the first marquee player to leave the NBA to play overseas due to the lockout and Besiktas has tried to lure more. Besiktas first found a prominent name inside the United States when they signed Allen Iverson last season after each NBA team showed little except disinterest in him. After acquiring Williams earlier this summer, Besiktas made a hard push to enlist the services of Kobe Bryant but those talks never amounted to more than fodder for the internet. However, Williams is not the only player from the NBA on his new team. Zaza Pachulia from the Atlanta Hawks also joined Besiktas this summer.