Originally posted on NESN.com  |  Last updated 12/6/12
It will be interesting to see what Deron Williams does when he claims he was misquoted. Williams, the starting point guard for the Brooklyn Nets, has broken ground as an athlete by employing his own beat reporters to cover him for his website, deronwilliams.com, and create “a larger brand portfolio” for himself, according to a report by The Wall Street Journal. So far, Williams is the only player with a personal beat writer at every game. In Williams’ case it is Devon Jeffreys, but several other bylines appear on the site. The feature story on the front page is titled “D-Will Puts Onus on Himself for Nets’ Next Step” and features seven quotes by Williams, all appearing in bold and italic font. (In fairness, this looks like a style point and not just vanity, as quotes by Jerry Stackhouse and Joe Johnson also are bolded and italicized.) At first glance, this looks like good, old-fashioned narcissism. If anything, though, Williams and his representatives at Excel Sports Management waited too long for a venture like this. Williams has been one of the top players in the NBA since his Utah days, when he paired with Carlos Boozer to lead the Jazz to the 2007 Western Conference Finals, but a criminally small amount of fans seemed to realize how good he was before he was traded to New Jersey. Now that he is in the media capital of the world, Williams hardly needs the extra attention. Like it or not, this is how things go nowadays. Even if owning an eponymous Internet domain name seems like the height of egotism, it is vital to market oneself on the web and to control one’s image in a world where a person’s reputation is only as good as what exists on Google. Do a web search for Deron Williams and the first choice that pops up is deronwilliams.com. With that, Williams has succeeded. Your favorite professional athlete is probably next. Have a question for Ben Watanabe? Send it to him via Twitter at @BenjeeBallgame or send it here. Photo via Facebook/DeronWilliamsTurkiye
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