When Texas A&M big man Robert Williams III fell to the Celtics with the 27th pick, people dubbed him the “steal of the draft”. Many wondered how such a talent bursting with so much potential could fall out of the lottery, let alone to the end of the first round.
It didn’t take long for Williams to show the world why. The day after he was drafted he was set to be on conference call to answer questions from the media. He slept through the call, then was practically incoherent on the follow-up conference.
Williams then followed up this blunder with another, reportedly missing his flight to Boston for the team’s first Summer League practice. Two pretty big errors all within his first two weeks with the team.
Robert Williams managed to get himself to practice Monday with Danny Ainge in attendance. Here is what Ainge had to say about his troubled new rookie:
R-Williams at today's practice after missing yesterday's opener. Danny Ainge on team's approach to the errant rookie: "We're trying to provide structure. … A lot of people need to grow up, and there's consequences for their actions." Said discipline will be handled internally.
— Mark Murphy (@Murf56) July 2, 2018
Can He Recover?
It’s safe to say Williams has a lot of work cut out for him. If he seeks to get on his new boss’s good side, this is not a good start. Boston has a reputation for running a tight ship with their players, and Williams will be no exception.
Perhaps the veteran leadership of Al Horford will help right the ship for Williams. Stick his locker next to Big Al’s and let him mentor Rob throughout his rookie season. The good news is that the rookie is joining a quality franchise. The Celtics are in prime position to contend for championships for years to come. If Robert is to succeed in the NBA, this is the perfect place for him to land.
If Williams can figure out the off the court issues his potential as a player is boundless. Showing up to practice would be a great starting point.