Boston Celtics Rookie Robert Williams Misses 1st Summer League Practice
on Jul 04, 2018 06:47 PM EDT
Power forward Robert Williams was expected to be taken early in the 2018 NBA Draft. However, he dropped to 27th to the Boston Celtics due to his alleged character issues and questions about his work ethic.
Questions about his work ethic surfaced one day after the Draft when the 6-foot-10 power forward out of Texas A&M missed his scheduled conference call. The Celtics then decided to reschedule the conference call with the media one hour later.
In his talk with the press, Williams explained that he watched the NBA Draft with family and friends at Buffalo Wild Wings in his hometown of Shreveport, Louisiana. Williams explained that he overslept at his aunt's house.
"I actually went to my aunt's house and went to sleep because I was so tired," Williams said. "When I woke up, my sister was like, 'You have a conference call."
According to the power forward, it was his sister who informed him about the conference call. The Celtics, for the part, have moved on from the incident, describing it as a simple "miscommunication."
Robert Williams Missed Flight to Boston
However, Williams again ran into trouble with his new team after he had missed his first Summer League practice on Sunday. The 20-year-old rookie traveled to Boston on Friday for his introductory press conference.
After that, he flew back to Louisiana despite knowing that he had to be back in Boston on Sunday for his first practice. Williams missed his flight back to Boston, causing him to skip the team's practice.
"I went home to get a couple of things and just a missed flight, a miscommunication by me," Williams explained. "It's all on me. I'm just looking to push forward and move past it."
When asked by media about Williams's absence, Celtics assistant coach Jay Larranaga said the team would handle the matter internally. Williams said that he talked with Celtics head coach Brad Stevens, who instilled in him the importance of accountability.
Brad Stevens Impressed With Williams
Despite questions about his character, the Celtics took a gamble on Williams due to his defensive presence in the shaded lane. In his two years at Texas A&M, Williams averaged 11.1 points, 8.7 rebounds, 2.5 blocks, and 1.4 assists per game.
According to Stevens and Larranaga, Williams impressed the Celtics coaching staff with his focus and intensity during his first practice with the team. Larranaga added that Williams is very coachable.
"He's been really, really good. Really focused. Picked up the points of emphasis that we had yesterday in practice really well," Larranaga said.
He added that Williams' first practice was a beginning of the process for him and for the summer league team.