This is one big reason Deron Williams stayed in New York: Forbes Magazine, read by corporate CEO's and marketing directors everywhere, lists D-Will first and foremost in its 2012 "30 under 30 - Sports." The list mixes athletes and executives, "entrepreneurs and corporate fast trackers." Among the criteria for the athletes: "either a strong global brand (Rory McIlroy, LeBron James), or, as in Williams' case, heavy importance to their particular franchises and markets."

While the five other NBA stars in the 30 merit only a photo in a slideshow, Williams gets star treatment in the article and a video interview with a Forbes editor. In the interview, he talks about Brooklyn and the New York market and Mikhail Prokhorov, "a normal guy." He notes that with Prokhorov so busy, he deals with "another guy who's kind of in charge, who runs things behind the scenes who I'm in contact with a lot," an apparent reference to Dmitry Razumov, Prokhorov's No. 2. Williams also notes that he and Jay-Z "had a lot conversations, a lot of texts back and forth."

Here's his "30 under 30" profile: