Roberts are rare on Celtics rosters - but great when we've had them

To date, the Boston Celtics have only had one player who goes by the name of Robert, but the few they have have worked out well.

Of course, most of you know the first was Hall of Fame big man Robert Parish, and the second recently-drafted Robert Williams. That's not the only thing they have in common, though.

The most obvious shared quality is the position they play (center), though the game has changed quite a bit, and in his time at Texas A&M, Williams was played at the four a lot, which will probably be a rare sight in the NBA.

The two players also happen to be from the same city - Shreveport, Louisiana. They are also both tied to dark clouds hanging over their careers early on - Williams over questions about his work ethic, and Parish connected to his NCAA ruling of ineligibility.

As for their games, apart from the change in play for the position - amplified by Williams' hyper-athletic playing style - it's hard to get a solid comparison between the two, as Parish's university, Centenary, did not have their records listed in the NCAA database as a result of sanctions related to his tenure there, and the school itself did not record blocks, steals, and other important data in the early 1970s.

It's safe to say the elder Robert was one of the most elite rebounding machines the league has ever produced, and the younger, while an outstanding rebounder, is more known for his prodigious rim protection skills and pogo-stick dunks and rim-running.

Don't expect the second coming of Chief, or even a poor man's version of the same - on one hand, the eras and style of play are so far from one another it doesn't really work no matter how you frame it, and on the other, it's not at all fair to a developing player with lots of legitimate questions to answer and a much lower-projected ceiling.

It is fair to be excited about Williams' potential, both in the short-term as yet another tool to expand coach Brad Stevens' toolkit, and as a potential impact player longer-term should those questions about his game get answered in the affirmative.

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Image: Gerry Broome/Associated Press/NBA
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