The Boston Celtics made Robert Williams the No. 27 overall pick in the 2018 NBA Draft. At the end of the first round, Williams was more than worth the risk for the Celtics. He has some attitude issues and many don’t think that his work ethic is consistent enough to get him to where his raw potential suggests he could be.
One good thing for Boston is that Williams has one of the best role models in the NBA to learn from. Al Horford is one of the league’s true professionals and Williams is already excited to learn about the game and league from the veteran big man.
During his introductory press conference following the NBA Draft, as shared by MassLive, Williams made his admiration for Horford well known.
“Horford, the guy has had a great career. Eats right, works out right, he does everything he needs to do on a day-to-day situation, so I feel like following his every footstep will just give me the keys to success to be in this league.”
Brad Stevens and company likely couldn’t be more excited to hear those words come out of Williams’ mouth. Williams is without question talented enough to become the Celtics’ starting center, possibly even as early as this year. Many teams viewed him as one of the most talented players in the draft class this year.
Last year at Texas A&M, Williams ended up averaging 10.4 points per game to go along with 9.2 rebounds and 2.6 blocks. Boston needed to add a rim protector, which is exactly what Williams does. That will give Stevens a serious defensive presence that Boston simply didn’t have last year.
Stevens talked about what Williams brings to the court and is excited to get to work with the young big man.
“He’s able to get up off the floor quickly, play way above the rim, but also handle the ball and pass the ball which are really things we need our forwards to be able to do. There’s a number of obvious transferrable skills right now in Robert’s game, and then there’s things that he has to continue to improve and manage, and early returns over the last few days that he’s been here is that he’s excited about that. I’ll let him answer that more, but he’s been in the gym every day. He got a workout in this morning at 6:30 a.m., and I think he’s excited to get started like a lot of our young guys are.”
In response to the critics talking about his work ethic, he refuted those reports and stated that he works hard and will do everything in his power to prove the Celtics right for picking him.
“People question my motor a lot, but I work hard and know I can work hard. I’m a hard worker. Just being in this organization, knowing the morals of this organization and knowing what it takes to be in this league… I’m ready to start.”
Expect to see Williams work with Horford early and often in his NBA career. Boston may very well have their center of the future. If Williams can figure everything out off-the-court, he is going to be an absolute nightmare for opposing teams on it.