Robert Williams shows up at Summer League practice - "we're talkin' 'bout practice"
When veteran superstars blow off practice it may get noticed. When an NBA rookie by the name of Robert Williams misses practice, it is inexcusable.
Williams got off to a bad start when he overslept and missed a conference call after being drafted by the Celtics. His next antic was missing a flight and not making it to the first Summer League practice yesterday (Sunday). Also inexcusable.
Well, it looks like he finally got around to joining his teammates today for the second pre-Summer League session. Nice of him to be there!
Pardon the sarcasm, but I truly hate to see this. We knew there were issues, including immaturity, but his two early transgressions should not have happened. We may be looking at more than immaturity here. He has been analyzed as not having a consistent motor. I am not sure a high motor is needed to set an alarm clock and arrive early at the airport.
He is no longer in college. He has a job. The first requirement for any job is to just plain show up. The next is to be on time. We are talking basic stuff here. Maybe his next transgression will be to have an Allen Iverson-like video session belittling the importance of practice.
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.
You can bet there will be some internal discipline from Summer League Coach Jay Larranaga for the missed flight. This young man has size and high-level talent. Most of us can picture our focus and punctuality if we had just been drafted by one of the greatest sports organizations of all times. Williams had neither of those, but hopefully he does now.
Robert needs to "buddy-up" with one of the Summer League players, and I nominate Semi Ojeleye. He needs maturity, and that won't arrive quickly. But right now he needs focus and mental discipline or his rookie year may lead to a slippery slide right out of the League down the road.
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Photo via Jared C. Tilton/Getty Images North America