When the Celtics took Robert Williams with the 27th pick in the NBA Draft last month, they knew why he’d slipped that far. It wasn’t just because he can’t space the floor like all those other bigs taken in the first round—there were Character Concerns. Boston took the risk anyway. The Celtics have enough tested bigs on their roster, along with an embarrassment of future assets, so you can see why they’d take a flier on the bouncy 6-foot-10 kid out of Texas A&M. If head coach Brad Stevens can’t wring some value out of him, oh well. They’ll live.
Williams chose not to come to Brooklyn for the draft and instead threw a party with friends and family at a Buffalo Wild Wings back home in Louisiana. The next day, he missed his 11 a.m. introductory conference call for the Celtics—hey, maybe nobody should hold a presser before noon after the biggest night of a 20-year-old’s life. Williams made it to a rescheduled call later, though that was was reportedly “plagued by poor sound quality.”
Publicly, at least, Stevens expressed confidence in Williams’s work ethic:
The rookie made his first visit to Boston last Friday for an introductory press conference that morning. Williams then flew back home to Louisiana, knowing full well he’d have to be back for the team’s first summer league practice on Sunday. But yesterday he missed a flight, and thus, the practice. Celtics assistant coach Jay Larranaga did not look especially comfortable addressing Williams’s absence, and said the team would “handle that internally.”
Although the Celtics might have a minor issue to resolve here, LeBron James vacated his throne at the top of the Eastern Conference yesterday, so on the whole, they had a pretty wonderful Sunday.