Robert Williams III needs some work, and not just on his basketball game.
The Boston Celtics’ first-round draft pick overslept and missed his introductory conference call in June. And Sunday, he missed a flight and his first summer league practice. Neither of the slip-ups are particularly good looks for a guy who reportedly slipped in the 2018 NBA Draft over concerns about his work ethic.
Williams was at practice Monday, however, and so was his new boss, Danny Ainge. So, how does the Celtics president of basketball operations feel about the inauspicious start to Williams’ NBA career?
Here’s some of what Ainge said, per the Boston Herald’s Mark Murphy:
Clearly, Ainge isn’t impressed with the 20-year-old Texas A&M product.
He’s not about to give up on Williams, though.
“I’m moving on,” Ainge said, per The Boston Globe’s Adam Himmelsbach. “Today’s a new day. We’re trying to provide structure for all of our players, but yes, we need structure around Robert.”
Ainge obviously wasn’t going to flat-out rip his rookie forward, but you don’t need to read between the lines too much to realize he’s disappointed. ESPN college basketball analyst Dick Vitale, though, didn’t mince words when talking about Williams.
At the end of the day, it’s way too early to write off Williams or label him a bust. But he might be one screw-up away from a one-way ticket to Ainge’s doghouse, if he isn’t in it already.
Thumbnail photo via C. Morgan Engel/USA TODAY Sports Images