BOSTON (CBS) — NBA rookies got together for their official NBA portraits in New York over the weekend, and in a positive development for Robert Williams, the Celtics’ rookie was there on time.
Tardiness has been an issue for Williams, whom the Celtics drafted 27th overall out of Texas A&M. He was late for a conference call with reporters the day after the draft (forcing the Celtics to reschedule), and then missed a flight and had to sit out the first practice of the summer league. It wasn’t a great start for a guy whose draft stock dropped because of maturity issues.
But as Williams explained to ESPN Boston’s Chris Forsberg over the weekend, he doesn’t have an excuse for being late to practice. The rookie now has an apartment right next door to the Celtics’ new training facility in Brighton.
“Two-minute walk,” Williams told Forsberg. “Can’t be late!”
That’s a great step in the right direction for the 20-year-old, though he should know that even such a close proximity doesn’t necessarily guarantee he’s a lock to arrive on time. He better make sure that apartment of his has plenty of alarm clocks just in case.
But with the tutelage of Celtics veterans like Al Horford and Aron Baynes, whom Williams has been working out with this summer, the rookie should be in good hands.
“I learned you got to be a sponge when you’re around those guys,” said Williams. “Their work ethic — you’ve got guys in the offseason six in the morning coming in to get treatment and work out. They’re not obligated to do that.”
Williams also added that he is “feeling way, way better” as he recovers from a left knee contusion that sidelined him for much of the summer league. With his knee getting better and an apartment so close to the new Auerbach Center, Williams really has no excuse to be late anymore.