Grant Williams’ College Coach Compared Him To This Heat Player

Grant Williams was coached by Rick Barnes at Tennessee


Grant Williams and P.J. Tucker may be separated by eight years of NBA playing experience, but they actually share a lot more in common than fans may know.

The Boston Celtics and the Miami Heat are facing off in the Eastern Conference finals, and Williams and Tucker have provided sparks for their respective teams through their 3-point shooting and defense. The two forwards also share the same college coach. Rick Barnes coached Tucker at Texas before coaching Williams at Tennessee. The current Volunteers coach noted how similar the two players are in their style of play.

“Incredible basketball IQ,” Barnes told The Athletic’s Jay King during a phone call Wednesday. “If you mic’d them both up during the game, they’re never going to stop talking. Never, because they know their job. They know everybody else’s job. Both of those guys would be terrific coaches, if they wanted to be, because they really see the game from every spot on the floor. They know how everything is supposed to work and both of them want to win. That’s all they did.”

(You can read the full story here.)

Williams has said he modeled his game after players like NBA Hall of Famer Charles Barkley and Golden State Warriors star Draymond Green. The Celtics forward also has embraced his status as a role player, and he has stepped up in big moments for Boston in the 2022 NBA Playoffs.

“I can assure you that whatever it takes to help give their team a chance to win, that’s what they’re going to do,” Barnes told The Athletic. “I would have loved to see them both in their prime go at it. The only person that could have stopped them would have been the referee.”

Williams already has broken playoff records, but the Celtics forward is more interested in helping Boston win the ultimate prize — an NBA championship.

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