Robert Williams feels as though he’s going to make a big jump this season.
Not only with his play on the court, but as a vocal leader on the Boston Celtics roster.
Entering his third season in the league, the big man is anticipated to have a bigger role this year than in the previous two — especially after how he played in the NBA bubble and without the pesky hip injury that plagued him in the 2019-20 campaign.
Williams spoke with the media Tuesday about his improvement and the players in which he’s learned from during his time in the organization. Going forward, he wants to help his teammates in the same way.
“As far as leading the rookies and leading the other guys, I learned from them too but the older guys are kind of pushing me to be more vocal, letting me know that they have trust in me, a lot of trust in me, so speak up if I see something,” Williams said, via the Celtics.
In his own media availability Tuesday, head coach Brad Stevens also spoke to Williams’ development, using an anecdote from his sophomore season about how he and former assistant Kara Lawson noticed how well the big man could communicate a defense.
So with the knowledge that his teammates respect his defensive input, and the experience that comes with two years in the league, Williams wants to raise his voice more with rookies and older players alike and develop more of a vocal presence.
“Just knowing what the rookie role is about, you know, I’ve been there,” Williams said. “Some people won’t help you or correct you, you know what I’m saying? Or help you correct something before coach notices. So I just try to step in with those guys, or even to the older guys, I feel like I play a major part in our defense. Coach stresses the bigs being vocal and the defensive people being vocal so I just try to keep it up.”
Williams will be part of a dynamic center rotation, filled out by him, Daniel Theis and newcomer Tristan Thompson.
They each bring their own skillset to the table, but if Williams does what he says he’s going to do, he’ll contribute in every game whether he touches the floor or not.