Deron Williams' Mavs Dodgeball: For The Camaraderie And The Community

Deron Williams' Mavs Dodgeball: For The Camaraderie And The Community ... Starring 'Grannies With Attitude'

Deron Williams called his team "GWA'' -- "Grannies With Attitude'' -- and he and his Dallas Mavericks teammates dressed the part, wearing nightgowns and gray wigs held steady by blue Mavs headbands.


"That was Deron's idea,'' Wesley Matthews told me during a break in the weekend's "Deron Williams Celebrity Dodge Barrage'' tournament in Frisco, the proceeds benefiting his Point of Hope Foundation. "I'm not saying it was a good idea, but ...''

The good idea was raising money for Point of Hope and raising awareness of issues like autism, which Deron's 7-year-old son D.J. deals with. 

"We have four kids they are all different they are all special,'' D-Will told me. "All four have different personalities all four I love and special and different ways all four have different challenges. I love them all and they all drive me crazy and I wouldn't trade any of them for the world.''

Also driving D-Will up a wall during the tournament (in a fun way) was the entertainingly manic dodgeball performance of Justin Anderson, who seemed as plugged into zany dance moves as he did in helping the Mavs team to its inevitable success in the tourney.

Yes, inevitable, because while the other teams were skilled (most of them playing as competitive teams in organized leagues), the Mavs team was ... athletic.

"What I'm learning,'' said a wigged out coach Rick Carlisle, "is that dodgeball is an entire subculture. They take it seriously and they're good at it.''

D-Will's teammates included Harrison Barnes, Seth Curry, Quincy Acy, A.J. Hammonds, Dwight Powell, Matthews and Devin Harris, who came away joking about how he hadn't lost any of his dodgeball gifts since last playing the game when he was in Utah with Williams, who staged a similar tournament there.

"It looked to me like I'm one of the best players out here,'' Devin kidded.

It also looked like Devin was moving well following toe surgery. He said he just started running last week and expected to be ready for the second week of training camp, which commences on Sept. 27. Deron is also coming off surgery for that sports hernia problem and he told that he took three months off from basketball to get rest and to get healthy.

"I have not talked to Coach or to Casey (Smith, team trainer) yet but I've been given medical clearance to start camp,'' Deron said. "We will do it smart; I don't want any hiccups or setbacks ... but I have taken three months off of basketball to get ready for this.''

Part of this event, too, is the camaraderie built by the fellas hanging out together, away from basketball.

"We do it all for Darren,'' Harris said. "In terms of chemistry for our team it gets the new guys jumpstarted, even though we have to dress like fools to do it.''

In the end, mostly, as Carlisle said, "It's all for the kids.''

But it's also for the overgrown "kids'' who dressed like their grannies and who therefore created benefits for others ... and for themselves.


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