30 Under 30
A free agent in the summer of 2012, Williams had a chance to sign with the Dallas Mavericks, his hometown team. But the eight-year NBA veteran chose to stay with the Nets, who were in the midst of moving from New Jersey to a new $1 billion area Brooklyn. "I just liked the direction we were going,” says Williams. “I was excited about the new arena. I was excited about being in New York – my family has come to love this city." The Nets rewarded him with a five-year, $100 million contract. As well they should: No single player is more important to the re-branded franchise, which sold 11,000 season tickets to its new fan base.
– Reported by Tom Van Riper and Brian Solomon